Day #0: Building In Public
We are building a new type of learning platform to easily create, collaborate, and share open-source learning resources. Think of it like GitHub + Khan Academy. I will be sharing my journey and progress, through this blog and (maybe) on Twitter using #buildinpublic. Hoping to get the very basic version ready within a month.
You can check out all the posts in this series here.
Day #0: 25th Oct, 2020
What are we building?
We are building a GitHub-like platform for creating, collaborating, and hosting various learning resources.
We see many people creating repositories on GitHub with the intention of just having a README file that has some content in it. They choose GitHub because it has version control and it is easy for people to contribute to the resources hosted on GitHub. But GitHub wasn't designed for this purpose. It is meant to host and review code, manage projects, and build software. It is not optimized to have a good experience for learners and also for creating learning resources.
What we are offering is a simple and straightforward alternative to that. Quickly create an open-source learning page or a resource that others can edit and contribute to and share it with the world. Learners can go through these resources, track their progress, and even contribute to it. There is so much more that we have planned for this platform, but this is a barebone version of it.
Why am I building in public?
"Building in public" is a recent movement that many indie hackers and startups have joined in. It is meant to make you more accountable, get direct feedback from users as you build it, and overall meant to make you more productive. The last time, when we started working on this project, we took almost 6 months to make a decent product but we did not have many regular users. We made many mistakes along the way and learned from them. This time, I wanted to do things a little differently. I want to be accountable to someone. I want people to know about the product as we are building it, instead of building everything and launching it. I want people to give feedback on the product as we are building it. I don't know if this little experiment will work out in our favor or not, but I wanted to give it a try. I don't think there is anything yet to lose here. And moreover, these blogs can also serve as a daily log for us to see how the product is progressing and see how far have we come.
One of the mistakes that we made last time was that we did not track any metrics. We had no way to know whether users are coming to the platform, why are they coming, why are they leaving. We were unable to concretely figure out the reason behind why there are not that many regular users. We told ourselves that it might be because there are no quality resources on the platform (or) it might be because that the resources are very long and it is not straightforward to create a resource that is a single page (or) it might just be because nobody knows about the platform. But we did not have any kind of data to know this.
This time, we are starting with building a simple data dashboard. I will share more on this as we build it. I have set a goal to build a very basic dashboard by this weekend. I will be starting the development from tomorrow.
I have decided to use Next.js + Tailwind for building this. I haven't yet decided on what to use for the backend. I will decide when the time comes.
I will start sharing the progress from tomorrow.