I built 4 mini products in 3 days
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I built 4 mini products in 3 days
Published in April 2021
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I'm prototyping various product ideas and a few days ago made this public challenge on twitter:
💻 The Products ✅ ✅ ✅ ✅
1️⃣ Ranking S&P 500 companies by profit and revenue growth
There is often too much empasis on share price growth and not enough on the fundamentals. And besides there are 500 companies in the S&P 500 making it harder to track each one.
I just wanted to answer a simple question. Which are the fastest and slowest growing companies in the S&P 500 by revenue and net income and over various time periods?
I used the financial modelling prep api to get the data and build this tool.
The most surprising thing I learned? Amazon is the third-largest company in the world by revenue and they're still growing at over 30% a year!! And they're consistently in the top 5% of the index overall time periods measured. What the ...
2️⃣ TweetStreaks - Gamifying your Tweet production
TweetStreaks is a tool to gamify your tweet production. Get tweet stats like current streak, longest streak, most tweets in a day, and more for any Twitter user. You also get a calendar heatmap of when you've been tweeting.
You can also add yourself to a leaderboard and compare all the stats with other users.
I built it because I'm trying to share my thoughts more frequently on Twitter and gamifying the experience will make it more fun.
3️⃣ TechReddit - a single feed of tech related subreddits
TechReddit is a single feed of the top posts from various tech related subreddits I follow. Only posts from the front page of the subreddit with more than 30 points are added to the feed and you van view it in sorted order.
There is an accompanying Twitter bot that tweets the top posts and is scheduled to run every 30 minutes. I'm finding myself spending more time on Twitter and this makes it easier to follow Reddit posts from my Twitter feed without having to visit Reddit.
You can get any reddit.com webpage in JSON form by appending .json to the end of the url. This makes it super easy to get data from reddit and I just have a scheduled lambda function to query various subreddits and store and tweet the top posts.
4️⃣ TheBookBot - Create a twitter bot from your kindle highlights
I make a lot of highlights when reading on my kindle and even when reading physical books. I use readwise.com to capture and review the highlights I make.
I wanted to share my highlights with my twitter followers and also consume my own highlights on my Twitter feed so I had previously made a twitter bot that does this https://twitter.com/_BookHighlights.
During this challenge, I turned this into a monetized product. For $4 a month you can create a new Twitter profile dedicated to sharing your book highlights and connect your Readwise account.
The book bot will post a randomly selected highlight every 1 hour.
👀 Building in public
Building in public essentially means that you share your progress with your audience as your building out your products. And I'm increasingly becoming a fan of this approach.
During this multi-day hackathon, I shared my progress on Twitter by posting updates on my thought process, the products I was working on, screenshots of the UI before releasing and more.
I got an amazing response from the Twitter community, gained several new followers and interacted with other Indiehackers and product makers.
I got suggestions, feature requests, and questions as I was posting my progress and this is what building in public is all about!
💡 Coming up with the product ideas
I've been playing around with the same set of APIs for various projects over the last several months and these were the nth iteration using the same data.
Playing around and mixing and matching with various APIs can lead to fun project ideas.
I used APIs from Twitter, Reddit, Financial Modelling Prep, and Readwise to build out all the products.
✂️ Cutting Scope
As I was building the products I got more ideas for various features and I was pretty tempted to implement some of them. For example, I only thought of and implemented the leaderboard feature after starting on TweetStreaks.
But I had to keep the scope of each product to a manageable amount and keep working on the next thing, otherwise it would be impossible to complete the challenge.
I have several unimplemented features, and I decided to only implement them if users actually start using them.
☁️ The Serverless Stack
For the implementation of all the products I used Flask for the backend and React for the frontend. The React apps are hosted on AWS cloud front + S3 and the flask apps are hosted on AWS Lambda via API Gateway.
While there are many approaches to building any product, I've found this stack to be great for many reasons:
Easy to deploy. I used serverless to deploy the apps and after a bit of configuration, it takes care of anything. This makes it easy to only worry about your core product logic.
Usage-based pricing. Since I'm just prototyping ideas I don't want to spend any money on hosting the apps, if nobody uses any of this I don't pay anything!
Flexible. Lambda can be used in many ways. I'm using it with API gateway to host the web app and also running various scheduled lambdas for cron jobs.
🐦 Tweets I made during the hackathon