I’m shutting down thinglistr today, and I don’t even feel bad about it.
I had an interesting conversation with someone on Reddit about the viability of the idea, and from it, I had second thoughts about participating in making something for small businesses. I knew that making something for them would be difficult, but after having that conversation, I realized that the thing I was going to make would have to *really* take off before it becomes a viable source of revenue.
To better forecast the possibility of this happening, I told myself that I would reach out to five bar owners or consultants to get their professional opinions on the viability of thinglistr. As it happens, getting in contact with any of them is a real challenge. Most bar owners own multiple bars and aren’t normally at any of them at any given time, so the success of simply popping in and asking for the owner or founder of a bar at any bar with real traffic depends on how lucky you are that day. Unfortunately for me, my luck normally runs short; thus, I couldn’t get in contact with any owners this way.
Bar consultants weren’t any easier to get a hold of. I’ve tried emailing and messaging on LinkedIn and couldn’t get a hold of any of them that way either. My next step was to cold call them directly, but I’ve been losing interest in the project for several weeks up to that point and didn’t really find it worth my time. After the code for my MVP blew up, I didn’t feel the same fire I felt while I was redesigning the whole thing, and the project itself wasn’t getting a lot of love from anywhere. I couldn’t focus on it as well as
Most of my interest in the project shifted towards re-building my IT consultancy using the knowledge I’ve learned from trying to grow thinglistr. I used to be a freelancer doing break/fix type work, but I eventually grew to hate it. I hated writing code and doing really advanced work in the daytime to then play desktop support at night for relatively low pay. ($60/hour in the IT consulting industry is chump change.) When I first started doing that, I didn’t know anything about social media, getting press or even how to network that well. Now that I learned a few tricks (and experienced what working hard on the side *really* felt like), I felt that putting an earnest attempt into restarting that business wouldn’t be a bad thing.
So instead of focusing on break/fix work that’s really, really overdone (even high school students do it, and with the world moving on from desktops and onto tablets or technician-proof laptops like Macbooks, there’s less and less demand for this sort of work), I’ve decided to consult on the skills I’m actually paid for and am really good at.
I love automation. Making the workplace function more seamlessly is something that I’ve been very passionate about for the last five years. I’ve done really interesting work for lots of top-shelf companies in NYC, and I want to bring that experience to other companies that are doing great work and could benefit from better and faster IT.
Call it a pivot, if you will. I’m excited for what this future looks like.
thinglistr and I had a good run. I learned a ton from doing it. I’m sure some other company will figure out what I was lacking and make zillions. Maybe I’ll consult for them!