Maybe you’ve noticed there’s been a gap in posting frequency on LifeDev. In fact, it’s been almost a year since I’ve written anything here. It hasn’t been for lack of inspiration, being burnt out on writing, or anything of that nature.
It’s purely the fact that I was accidentally surprised by success.
Let me explain.
About a year ago, my co-worker Brian and I decided to take 12 hours and build a simple but functioning idea. We had previously been working on a hairy, complicated (but awesome) concept of a web application. However, when you leave something unfinished for a couple years without any end in sight, it starts to weigh heavily on you.
So we decided to take a simple idea and crank it out, from start to finish, in 12 hours. The goal was never to have anything to show for it (at least immediately) other than a fun experience to shake things up.
The end product was the worst possible version of a website you’ve ever seen—I can say that because I designed it—but Brian and I started using it and actually liking it. We were so taken with our little project, that we kept working on it in our spare time over a couple of months, and gradually improved it to the point where other people could sign up if they wanted to. We told a couple friends, who told a few friends, and within a week were featured on sites like Mashable, TIME, Fox News, and plenty of deadwood media organizations as well. Gentlemint had somehow taken off, without a single presss release or pitch to any media organization.
We were being labeled as the “Pinterest for Men”, and thousands upon thousands of people were flocking to our website and and signing up for an account. In fact, the site was growing so fast that we had to immediately stop registrations and invite people gradually, as resources became available. In the course of a few weeks, we had people who loved us, we had people who hated us, and a crash course in media management. All from a simple site we’d built in 12 hours.
It was truly bizarre.
Fast-forward to today, and we’ve got the site running smoothly. I completely redesigned the site from the ground up, and the site is growing healthily. We managed to backfill all of those little things that you gloss over when you build a site in 12 hours, and we learned buckets. (I’ll share many of my learnings here in the future.)
What does this mean for LifeDev?
So now that Gentlemint is actually humming along without as much interaction, it means that I can do those things that I had to push aside while the craziness of Gentlemint went on. Like writing here more often. (I missed it more than I thought I would. You guys are a wonderful community.)
I’ll be redoing the branding and design LifeDev, as I feel like it’s lacking in a few ways. I’ve learned so much about how people interact with websites, and I’m excited to make LifeDev a more usable place.
I’m very excited for the future. I’ve got some exciting things to share, and exciting changes to the site coming down the pipe.
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