Building Stackpin - The idea, journey, and everything in between…
Over the past 15 months, I have spent countless hours on the research and development of Stackpin, my next upcoming project. This post is dedicated to that journey and I’m just here to share it.
👋 About me
Before I get started, let me introduce myself. I’m Austin, an 18 year old indie maker from the United States. Over the duration of the past 3 years, I have been designing, developing, and releasing products as an individual maker. Now, 15 months into the development, I’m getting ready for the release of my latest, most ambitious project yet, Stackpin.
🤔 The Idea
From my own personal experience, it’s just hard to find a good web host. Sure, you can find a good deal for under $3, but you’re typically ending up with basic, standard hosting, run by a large corporation, who’s also in charge of handling your data. It just doesn’t feel personal. At all.
I got tired of the old, bland ways of typical hosting, which is why I got the idea to start Stackpin, a community driven alternative. Being a developer myself, I’m managing websites all the time, so why not improve the experience? Something that’ll make me enjoy developing and deploying code in a breeze.
😣 The Struggles
Ever since the idea came to me, I’ve been ambitious about this project and it’s launch. I already knew what I wanted, but I needed to take that idea and bring it into existence. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
My original goal: Create an all-in-one hosting product that will compete with top hosting providers.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty throughout this project’s development, more than I care to admit.
The main aspect that brought that on though, was my original goal. Ever so recently, I was focused on creating a product that competed with the big guys in the industry. However, that wasn’t feasible, based on the fact that these companies have loads of funding, employees, and resources, things I just don’t have. It just wasn’t a successful plan for a project created by an individual. My anticipations would fall short immediately.
This is the exact reason why I’ve gone through four interface redesigns and three rebrandings, before I’ve even launched the thing. I lost all motivation and stopped building the project for many months, until deciding to get back into things earlier this year. My goal was just too high and I wish I realized that sooner.
Instead of competing for #1 in the industry itself, I switched up my ultimate goal to focus on a smaller niche, the community of designers and developers, looking for a unique, community-friendly developer workspace.
My new goal: Create a product that’s both simple for beginners and robust for designers & developers.
OK, great. I’ve got my new goal in mind and it was time for the 4th (and hopefully the last!) interface redesign. Now, more than ever, I have a goal that pushes me to where I want to be, which finally gives me the energy and motivation to move this project forward. I like where this is going.
Since my new focus was on creating a community driven platform, I wanted to build a nice, simple interface and I chose to go with a retro look, which I think suits it quite well. Something that’s going to stand out from the rest.
Here’s a bit of a preview…
🔁 What I’m using…
In order to get this project off the ground and get some hype, I knew that I’d need to do some promoting, along with sharing some shots of the project to get people excited.
Here are the platforms I currently use to keep everyone in the loop…
Every day, I make sure to post at least one shot or update post regarding Stackpin. This helps me promote the new designs I’m working on and the features I’m building. Recently, it has been my biggest source of traffic.
Makerlog is a great place to post project updates and see what other makers are up to. I’ve just recently started using the platform again to document my daily progress. Check this out!
I’ve been using Tuemilio for over a year now to collect Stackpin’s beta user signups. It’s a really awesome tool and it’s super easy to integrate. Found out about this tool when the creator (Domingo Martin) reached out to me on Maker’s Kitchen. I now use this every day to keep track of signups. I highly recommend this!
🥰 The Support
Over this past week, I’ve really gotten to see the support of the maker community. Unexpectedly, I’ve gained an additional 100+ followers and over 2x new beta signups. This is just a little appreciation to all those that are following the content I’m creating, it’s all for you! 🙌
I’m so excited I was able to share my journey with you. If you’d like to see more, check out the links below! 👇