Finding the “One Piece” as an Indie Developer
July 19, 2021
Spoiler Alert: I’m a huge nerd and yes this is about One Piece the anime
TLDR: I quit my software engineer job, thought I had a plan, uncertain about the future, that’s ok I’m using anime to keep me going
I’ve began my indie voyage and much to my “surprise”, there’s so much uncertainty. Uncertainty of my project TurboNav taking off, uncertainty of making a dime, uncertainty of “making it” as an Indie Developer. You see, this is my first time ever going full-time on my project and I’ve been dreaming this for years now. Ever since graduating college in 2015 I had the desire to create something, solve problems that help others and achieve financial freedom. I even thought about dropping out of college to pursue this drive of mine to create. After some advice from my family I decided to graduate and get a job as a Software Engineer. Not bad advice at all!
I’ll time skip to now because this part is boring, but let’s just say I learned a ton! I gained so much confidence these 6 professional years. I’ve built complex systems, worked with Uber for 2 years building neat internal tools, became a Team Lead for other clients, became a Project Manager, didn’t like that and returned as a Software Engineer. I found my voice during these years and after giving my all on projects for clients, a voice inside of me whispered “Whatever happened to that drive of yours to build something?” Clearly I had the drive to build software for others, why not do it for myself.
I quit my full-time job April 05 and became a part-time contractor to help out with one last job (more on that some other day). Thing is I finally had freedom to work on my own project. It was liberating, for the first time in my 28 years I was working for myself. With all this freedom, I went straight to programming, I wanted to build a project I’ve had in my Bear notes app for some time now. After a month of programming, I wondered… Is this a product that people will want after all I am trying to build a successful business. What if this doesn’t work? I should validate it.
So I pivoted! I learned Figma and built a prototype. Fortunately this was part of my todo list for this year. I built a prototype for TurboNav with grand ideas/concepts to fix tab hoarding problems. I built a quick landing page and I released it to the public. I didn’t know what to expect, but slowly I realized that I have something wrong. It reached roughly 220 people but got only 3 sign ups.
That felt depressing. I was bummed out for a second. I was starting to doubt myself is it my designs, my idea? Turns out it’s not easy and that’s fine! It’s exciting actually, not knowing what my path to success will look like and I’m not going to get worked up about it. I plan to make a living from this, so I’ll take it one step at a time and enjoy every aspect from the indie voyage of building, designing, engineering, business and mainly perfecting craft! After some reflecting, that’s my goal, mastering my craft of engineering and design to build a successful business .
This is where One Piece and Luffy comes into play. If you don’t know One Piece is an awesome anime following a kid who wants to be the “King of the Pirates”. There’s a treasure called the One Piece and Luffy plans on obtaining it. The thing is, Luffy isn’t in a rush, he’ll find it at his own pace. In the meantime he goes into great adventures and enjoys every minute of his voyage.
That’s what I plan on doing, enjoying my voyage of being an indie developer, my treasure or rather my “One Piece” of being an indie developer and mastering my craft will come when it comes. I’ll maintain optimistic and I won’t rush things, perfecting my craft will take time and I’m happy with that
My goal is to be an indie developer for years to come, in order to do that I have to learn so much and that’s exciting. There's much to learn and understand for building a successful indie business. So I’ll keep on sharing my progress and let you know where my adventures take me next.