A Therapeutic Killing

A few months ago I started to have that itch again. You know it. You’re happy with what you’re doing at your day job, but the prospects of your own ideas are starting to take over a larger part of your brain.

Knowing how I am, this was something that was only going to grow. I started to think about what I wanted to do with the next steps of Second Gear. I told myself I was going to put into place a 12 month plan where by this time next summer I would have a new product or two out that would hopefully be bringing in enough income to sustain me going back as a full-time independent.1

Part of that plan was deciding the fate of existing Second Gear products. Each product was bringing in revenue, but none of them are exactly setting the charts on fire for a variety of reasons. Namely, my full-time employment these past eight months has meant neglecting doing updates in favor of actually getting a good night’s sleep or relaxing after a long day of writing code. There are some people who eat, breathe and sleep code. I’m not one of them. I’ve got about 6 good hours a day in me and then my brain turns to mush.

Even though each product was bringing in revenue, not all of them were getting me excited about the prospects of what is next. In fact, they were occupying a portion of my brain that was constantly nagging me with ideas about the things I knew I should update, fix or add to make them better products. None of that seemed like exciting work.

When I was in Melbourne a few months ago for One More Thing, I remember having a conversation with Loren Brichter about products like this. He said he would kill anything he wasn’t interested in working on anymore, because it seemed like the right thing to do. I agree.

That’s why I recently decided to kill both MarkdownMail and Today.

Financially, it may not have made much sense to cut off the revenue streams, but therapeutically I’m freeing up that portion of my brain to focus my full attention on the next version of Elements and the dozens of other ideas that that are circling in my head.

Full speed ahead.

  1. Little did I know that my 12 month plan would turn into a 12 minute plan, but that’s the cards you’re dealt sometimes.

About Justin

Justin Williams is the Crew Chief of Second Gear. He writes about consumer technology, running a bootstrapped software business, and more from Denver, Colorado.

Follow @justin on Twitter or get new articles via @carpeaqua.