A nimble microconsultancy for growing businesses.
Update: January 2017
This is down. -_- I just want stability here, but I think I need more MAUs to hit that. Still, not gonna scoff at a free extra bottle of Fernet.
(Note, this is revenue, not profit – I’m going to track Apple’s 30% as an expense.) Sadly, this is lower than last month. This is slightly expected due to both the post-holiday crash and the new version of Barback: Barback sales are down ($800, and more about that later), Ambience is flat ($75), a mere $65 from Floradora.
Yay for retainers! This should be static for the foreseeable future: $3500 from one client, $500 from another.
Paused ads for Barback while it regains its ASO juice from the new version. Ambience continues to do well at $.10 CAC.
Amazon Web Services
I use AWS to run a lot of stuff:
- S3 hosts Barback’s images and all of my static sites.
- RDS hosts Barback’s databases, as well as Spoonbill’s.
- Route 53 has a couple domains.
- EC2 runs a couple Twitter bots.
The price is great – the majority of this expense comes from RDS.
The 30% cut of $840.
Apple Developer's License
$99/year. Amortizing that comes out to 8 a month and change.
Used for Vittles.
A legacy plan of $8/mo, two email forwards at $2/mo each, and 20 domains each at $20/yr.
I mean – it’s Dropbox. I use this for personal and professional reasons, and it’s my lifeblood.
Use it for emails and such.
I use Github liberally – pretty much every piece of code I write has a repo, and I use Issues for managing them.
One of my goals this month is to bring this down: more about that in a bit.
JetBrains is the best IDE creator in the world. I use PyCharm and WebStorm daily (and have used IntelliJ in the past.)
I use Mailchimp to manage lifecycle / educational emails for Spoonbill.
The best email client there is.
is a desktop app for managing GitHub issues. It is terrific
and makes managing tasks
across my multiple projects much easier. (It’s only a dollar this month because free trial pro-rating, but will bump up to $9 in subsequent months.)
- Launched Barback 4. It was dope and there are no crashes and customer feedback seems to be super positive. (This is probably the best I’ve felt about launching an app, ever.)
- Got some positive write-ups on Floradora, which made all of the cold-calling worth it! It made a nice first entry into the actual world of manual marketing.
- Unicode Fractions is ranked first in Google’s search rankings for “unicode fractions”, which is a pointless victory (it’s only receiving like twenty hits a day, so a nigh-meaningless amount of traffic) but a victory nonetheless!
- Getting Barback across the finish line was exhausting. Rewriting an app on top of consulting + 9-5 work is a lot of development, and it drained me.
- Getting Barback across the finish line was uh, a net negative. Sales are flat!
It’s often very hard to tell if I’m spending my time well (where I’m defining well as the correct allocation in order to maximize profits).
I’m really happy with what I’ve built over the past few months but it’s hard to disambiguate the “ah, this was fun to build” feeling from the “ah, this was the correct thing to build” feeling.
I can tell I overindulge my code all of the things instinct. It’s easy to say that’s fine since I’m doing this for fun, but I am trying to grow this as a business and sometimes that means eating your vegetables. Speaking of which:
Time to eat my vegetables
In February, I’m going to work on a bunch of boring (to me, at least) but important stuff, specifically on the non-dev side. This is also probably a good move because this past month exhausted me in terms of software and it’ll be nice to do stuff that isn’t straight up coding.
- Get Heroku costs down to $50/mo – migrate everything except the actual servers to AWS now that I have some free credits. (Shouts to FBStart.)
- Lots of manual marketing work for marketing Barback. I’m setting the deliverable down to two positive writeups.
- SEO juice and such to get Barback up to 5k monthly. (Small steps, I know.)
- iOS Numbers (just so I launch something, with a goal of getting this rated super highly as well)
- Marketing Spoonbill, with a goal of 200 active users (currently in the ~100 range).
— Justin (@justinmduke)
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