Three (3) Personal Projects that I SHIPPED in 14 days.
While people are on vacation and on a holiday last December 2022, I spent the downtime working on 3 personal projects — all shipped in its basest, minimum working version.
First – HOW DID YOU DO THIS?
I run an early stage tech startup. I’m a mom and wife. How do I even have time for this?
It’s the holidays and I should have just taken the time to recharge and unwind and give in to the consumerism and rituals around the holiday. Mind you, we DID all of it – going to mass, preparing food, gift-giving, celebrating (online), and spending time with family.
BUT – I found a wonderful community on Twitter that actually resonates with my personal values in building and shipping products called buildspace.
Buildspace, for me, is a community of builders, mostly in the web3, crypto, AI space that go on to explore and develop products.
My son David Castro introduced me to it and it sparked the "developer" side of me that I missed so much because I focused on being a business owner and marketer.
So the answer is – I made time for it.
And so for the nights and weekends after we do “holiday stuff”, I sit down with my laptop and build away.
Next – WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS?
You see, I graduated Cum Laude from MSUIIT in Iligan, Philippines with a Bachelor in Information Technology. I also worked as a coder/developer for 3 years after graduation before life took me to another route in digital marketing and entrepreneurship. After that, I never touched code again (well, except Wordpress and the likes).
But my core in IT is still adamant in the way that I work – I am process-oriented and product-oriented. My core with code is slumbering deep inside me.
And so it has woken from its deep slumber when I discovered buildspace.
When I had the chance to look into their community some 3 weeks ago, I learned that they not only teach you how to code but to also get into the mindset of it. PERFECT!!
This is in perfect symphony with the fact that I am currently growing DashoContent – Asia’s First Content Subscription Platform.
I want to help marketing teams and agencies tell their stories better through consistent and affordable branded content to use for their marketing. This is our mission: supercharge storytelling and unlock opportunities for all.
Also, while my kid David Castro is on a holiday and on a long Christmas break, I want to MEANINGFULLY bond with him while also teaching him the tenets of creating and shipping a tech project. Parenting 502 for the win!
Finally – WHAT ARE THE PROJECTS ABOUT?
While working on my first project on buildspace, they announced that they are accepting applications to N&W Season 2. It’s like an online Startup Weekend for builders. The accepted participants are challenged to do a 6-week sprint in the program, gain access to talks and discussions on creating products, and finally, access to demo day in San Francisco IRL by end of the 6 weeks.
And the good news is that, I got accepted and together with David, my son, teamed up:
Here are the 3 projects that I worked on and the lessons learned:
1. DashoIdeas - Content Ideas Generator
The Problem: One of the greatest frustrations of marketers and content creators is finding out your next content idea.
The Solution: If you can only have a prompt to un-empty that empty blinking field asking you to drop – “What’s on your mind” especially for brands and their products… Right?
Well, worry no more, here’s DashoIdeas – Easiest Way to Get Content Ideas.
What does it do? You just enter your brand name and a quick phrase to describe your brand. And voila! Content Ideas with a suggestion on how to create the included media or visuals for it. Fun!! Try it out.
The Lesson Learned: Hands-on product building is an exercise in curiosity and consistency.
2. MakeSensei - Weekly Content + AI quests straight to your inbox
The Problem: Content creators are now “threatened” by the rise of AI through apps like ChatGPT, Midjourney, etc.
The Solution: What if you can LEARN how to harness AI tools to make your content work faster and of higher quality through available AI tools
The Product: MakeSensei is where you get weekly quests straight to your inbox. You will receive a guide for the content to create and the AI tool to use. Then, we ask you to complete the quest and get a certificate for completing 4 consecutive quests.
Signup if you are a creator: https://www.makesensei.com/
The Lesson: AI will never be a threat for creators who want to get better with their craft. It will destroy mediocre creators but never the ones who strive to become the best.
3. How to Use ChatGPT to Create Landing Pages - A TikTok How-to Video
The Problem: TikTok is also a platform to LEARN new things. How does one use TikTok to communicate a tech product or idea?
The Solution: Show the actual how-to in a step by step guide in a video format.
The Project: A TikTok video on how to use ChatGPT to write landing pages.
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The Lesson: It’s NOT easy getting out of your comfort zone and learning to create native content on a new platform. Trust me, I tried.
Overall, I am just happy to be able to focus on personal development and projects in the past few weeks. It has achieved my goal of improving my coding skills, putting myself out of my comfort zone, and has given me an opportunity to bond with my son. Thank you to buildspace for this core memory.