Harsh Agrawal
Harsh Agrawal's Blog

Harsh Agrawal's Blog

Lessons I learned from my failed side project

Lessons I learned from my failed side project

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Harsh Agrawal
·Mar 19, 2022·

2 min read

I worked on a side project for six months. Even though I failed with it, I learned a lot of valuable lessons from it. In this blog, I will share those with you. Hopefully, they will be useful in your journey too.

You can have all the fun you want with your side project. Go ahead and use those experimental technologies and do wild things in your project. But in case you do want it to grow into a business, it will be best to avoid these mistakes:

Don't write your code in a new technology for fun or performance

Coming from React, I was attracted to Svelte's simplicity and hence decided to use it to build my side project. If I would have used React, I could have reused a lot of code that I had written in the past.

I migrated my express server to Go in between to get "performance" to remain future-proof and handle more requests with fewer resources. Hardly 10 users landed daily on my website and here I was concerned about "performance".

All this time I spent learning svelte and code migrations could have utlized in sales and marketing.

Use a new technology only when it solves a pressing need.

Don't reinvent the wheel

I rewrote my side project in SvelteKit because I was looking for server-side-rendering. SvelteKit was in beta at that stage, I faced compatibility issues, and doing simple stuff involved a lot of reading and exploration.

Instead of SvelteKit, I could have chosen a mature technology like Next.js.

I also designed components like Cards and Tabs myself to have the most "optimized" JS bundle.

Build the product and users will come

Nope, they won't. You will have to build distribution channels.

  • Build a large waitlist
  • Reach out to friends and family
  • Post content regularly on social media
  • Engage with people online
  • Build a community on Discord
  • Invest in a blog and SEO

After spending six months on the product, I had <200 registered users. A good Product Hunt launch brings 200+ users in just a few days.

 
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