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My most productive 4 months with the least results

It's been more than 4 month now since I "started a new life" and I can't say everything goes as I planned. To date, I launched only one (free) product mostly because some bad decisions.

When I launched HashtagCalendar in February I was working on my second product already, the one that would be the first to generate some income while I'm building other tools. The core functionality of that product built on top of Google Sheets API and sadly, I wasn't thorough enough. By the time I finished the development, I found out that because of the way I use the API, my app needs and extended review and it could take more than 6 weeks. At the end it took almost 2 month to get the approval. So to publicly launch and promote the product is still ahead and at the moment I don't know when it's gonna generate revenue.

Of course, I wasn't lying around while I was waiting for the the approval. I started to work on the third product immediately after I sent the second to review. This is where I made an other bad decision as the third product was built on top of the Instagram API. Yeah, I know... I knew I was running out of time, I also knew that there is a review process to use the Instagram API, but based on my previous experiences that couldn't take more than a few days. I was wrong. I built the app in two weeks, and sent it to review with a smile on my face as I was happy, that I developed it faster than I expected. Well, it also got rejected faster than I expected. My main problem with the Facebook review process is that if an app gets rejected the reason of the recejtion is far from clear. At least for me. I had the same experience this time as well so I sent a message to the support team hoping that they would give me a clearer explanation. No one responded to my message for 2 weeks. After a few days I started a new review process without changing anything in the app. I added a more detailed description to it because I thought that was the reason of the rejection. It wasn't, as it got rejected almost immediately. I had to wait for the response of the support team.

I wasn't daydreaming while I was waiting for this, I started to work on the fourth product. For obvious reasons 😄 this time I started to build something that wasn't depending on 3rd party APIs. A basic job listing site. 2 weeks passed by and I was ready with it. I mean, it was ready from a functional and design point of view but I had to find some positions that I could upload to start the site with. Finding these jobs wasn't the hard part. I thought that instead of just posting them on my site, I should ask for permission to do that. I sent a bunch of emails to the advertisers to ask for their permission and this was really time consuming. Most of them never replied but the ones who did were really kind and that cheered me up 😊 Even though, I think it would be easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission. Probably I'll do that next time.

Meanwhile, I also had an other run with the app I built on top of the Instagram API. After almost 2 weeks, I couldn't wait any longer for the answer from the support team. I changed a few things in the app, wrote an other detailed description about the core functionalities and sent it to review. A few hours later it got rejected again. I was disappointed and I had all kind of conspiracy theories in my head why my app gets rejected all the time. And then, a few minutes later I received an answer from the support team. They said, that everything looks ok with the app, they asked me to send it to review again as it is, and they'll approve it immediately. They didn't lie 😊 After I received their message it took about 5 minutes to get the approval. I still don't know why I got rejected previously, but I'm happy that I finally made it.

So, from a revenue point of view I'm pretty far from my expectations. But, I've built 4 products in four months and I've learned new dev skills which was also part of the plan.

Now, the only thing I need to do is launch these products and hope that there are not so many bugs in them 😄

Header image by Kai Dahms