Re-launching StatusTicker

Re-launching StatusTicker

How I'm using discomfort to push me towards success.


4 min read

StatusTicker is an app that I first built in 2017 under the most noble of developer compulsions... it was something I needed, a solution didn't exist, so I built it.

Next week I'm going to be re-launching it on Product Hunt. But before I get into that, let me tell a story...

A bit of StatusTicker history

The idea was simple: instead of managing subscriptions for the myriad different cloud services and APIs my team used I would aggregate status feeds into a single "ticker" and present them on a screen in our office.

Green boxes were good, red boxes said something was broken upstream, yellow boxes were forewarning of problems to come, and blue boxes indicated the provider was undergoing maintenance.

I also added the ability to notify about status changes via email, SMS, Slack, etc. The Slack integration in particular was nice because it just became a steady stream of awareness within our team Slack instance.

It was simple and it was effective. So I turned it into a SaaS product. I also had a lot of fun tackling all of the different feeds and formats. James Brooks recently told me that I was one of the first people to integrate with Cachet, which is pretty cool.

StatusTicker today

6+ years later and StatusTicker lives on. Over that time I've had 1000s of people sign up for the service, and many many more hitting any of the public status pages I make available. I've added many new features, improved SEO, and changed my pricing structure. I've chatted with other makers and have tried to connect with customers to learn about what would make the product better.

But candidly it's never been as successful (or profitable) as I'd like. At all.

There's probably a few good reasons for that (we'll save the app roast for another article).

But one in particular I've come to terms with lately is entirely about me, and it's that I have another strong developer tendency:

I focus on building and avoid marketing like the plague.

Leaving the Fort

From what I've seen this is a pretty common trait among our ilk, and I've been meditating on why that is...

  • Maybe our own experiences being sold and marketed to has left us jaded

  • Maybe we're lacking confidence and/or conviction that our solution has value, or at least more value than another solution

  • Maybe we don't know where to go to tell people about it without being driven out of town (ie. Reddit or Hackernews)

  • <insert your own reasons here>

I think for me it has been a bit of all of those.

But I also know that lately I've become very interested in pushing myself into places where I'm not comfortable.

The time I've spent watching others who are finding the types of success that I want for myself are doing it because they are exploring new places, pushing their own boundaries, discovering good things, and then telling (and selling) people on their experiences.

And I think I used to be a lot more like this, then I went all corporate and forgot how. Well, time for me to leave the fort again and blaze new trails.

Moving to 60/40

Look, I'm not aiming to become someone who is just trying to sell all the time.

What I do want is to become better at valuing the things I envision and create and expressing that value to others. I absolutely want to help people succeed in their own goals.

I now believe doubling-down on sharing my experiences and connecting with people is the best way to do that. It doesn't always come naturally... it's like hitting the gym after a long hiatus (yet another topic for another day).

So, In 2024 I'm going to be focusing on going 60/40:

  • 60% sharing/selling/marketing (uncomfortable)

  • 40% building (comfortable)

Ideally, that becomes 80/20 over time but I need to start realistically ๐Ÿ˜…

This blog is a big part of that 60% (so far)

So about that relaunch...

As I said, I'm doing another StatusTicker launch on Product Hunt next week (January 9th, 2024). If you support it, awesome, thanks in advance.

For me this is about learning and honing. I'll be thrilled if I gain new subscribers through this launch. But just as importantly it's an opportunity for me to improve content, messaging, and voice. To force myself to speak boldly and confidently about what I've built and be convicted that it will help other people too. And that if someone finds value in it that it's totally OK for me to ask for appropriate compensation in return (ya, I'm of the old $5/sub squad...)

Maybe none of this resonates with you, and to that I give you a hat tip.

But if you've ever found yourself wrestling with these thoughts as a creator then I encourage you to flip the script, push yourself to do some uncomfortable stuff, and see what comes out of it.

You might be surprised.