Shipping Small Things Fast

Shipping small things fast is my way to fight stress as an indie developer.

I’ve been making several Android apps as an indie developer for many years.
I started with IO Notes in 2014. It didn’t get enough traction and I killed it.
I started again in 2018 with Typing Hero.
I was so lucky that it was very well received though it was an underdog back then as there were an existing app —of which I tried really hard to be a happy user, that has been around for many years.
Then I made a few other apps: Untrack, Ad-ID Reset, Chronos, and Drafting.
Reflecting on why I made those apps, I realized that I’m making them because I can’t find one (that I want) to use or buy.
Yes, I’d rather buy apps than spending hundreds of hours building them.
During my stint building those apps, I always ship small changes at a time whenever possible.
Yeah, hold that thought, buddy! 😅
It’s not about “Move Fast and Break Things”.
No! Not about “Fast/Early/Constant Feedback”.
Here’s a short story.
I started the work last New Year’s Eve to let users have a Custom Toolbar in the Drafting app.
It is a feature that involve things I always dread: a lot of work and experiments around the UI and UX.
I scrapped a lot of code that took many hours to write!
I changed my mind a few times on how to break the Custom Toolbar apart and connecting them.
It took a few hours every single day, and a lot of hours on certain nights.
It is stressful to see a lot of things that took hours to build are thrown into the abyss.
It is stressful to witness the development is dragging for such a long time with no one able to see and use it.
It is stressful to not accomplishing anything for days and days and days.
A few hours ago, I released the Custom Toolbar feature to Drafting’s 11 paying users.
It feels like a huge burden were lifted off.
The mind is clear and it is easier to take in and process other things.
This is an opposite to how I feel in the past week.
The way I feel right now is exactly how I feel when I’m shipping a new release out every 1-2 days.
Heck, I even shipped a new release 2-3 times a day quite often.
I just realized that shipping small things fast is my way to fight stress (unconsciously) as an indie developer.
But hey, there’s no better antidote to stress than seeing purchases for your apps and getting feedback from the people who gave you their hard-earned money! ❤️

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