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It sounds like I’m on a roll from the headline, but I’m not. Selling two side products in ten years isn’t a very productive rate. Yet I still see it as an achievement.
I’ve been creating side projects since 2009. Back then I started with one every few years, and wasn’t focussed on selling them. I was focussed on creating, and enjoying it too.
My first side project was a blog on freelancing, which I built on WordPress (the best way at the time) in 2009. I eventually sold that around 2013.
It wasn’t for lots of money, but it was a start. It was more about the principle that I could create something from nothing, and sell it. And this was before that kind of thing became common.
What happened next isn’t really what I intended. I created other side projects, but work and life got too busy to finish or market them properly. They came and went without much impact. Some are still live today.
That was until I discovered the no-code movement in 2019. Realising there were many more tools to build with, and a strong community of support, my productivity increased.
So what about this project I recently sold? In 2020 I created a website called No Code Examples. It was just a little list of products people had made with no code tools, mainly for my own inspiration and reference. Everyone talked about the benefits of no-code, but there was no list of success stories. I used Airtable as a database, and embedded it on a Carrd landing page.
As with many other experiments, it got left for a while. Eventually, in late 2021 I decided to dust it off and try to make something of it. I gave it a design upgrade, added lots more content and tried to market it.
It did reasonably well, but I realised I couldn't give it the love it needed. It wasn't bringing me enough benefit compared to the work I was putting in. So in spring this year, I listed it on tinyacquisitions.com to gauge interest.
I had a few offers, but at the same time I had an idea. I realised it would be a great marketing tool for my friend Max who founded 100daysofnocode.com. It seemed much more suited to his goals and motivations, and could be a valuable reference for his community of beginner no-code makers.
He loved the idea and we agreed a private sale. So in July we completed the transfer, and Max did an amazing job of relaunching a few weeks ago.
I feel happy I’ve made a sale, even if it’s only in the three-figure range. What’s more satisfying though is going through the process, learning from it, and seeing the project end up in good hands.
Selling another project after a ten year hiatus has also inspired me to see the possibilities once again. If you're good a starting projects, but don't like the idea of long term commitment, you don't have to stick with them forever. You can build to sell.