Here’s what to expect from Product in Public, who I am, and why I’m doing all this.
Heya, I’m Jarrod. Product in Public is where I share what I learn as I create my latest product, a design tool called Mod&Dot.
Mod&Dot isn’t my first product. I’ve self-published 4 books (and written others for clients), teach 2 design courses, and I’ve been the solo founder of 2 previous software products. I’m not rich and famous, but I’ve made multiple six digits in revenue independently. I’ve been a professional, full-time designer since 2004, and I’m also an expert (if there is such a thing) in html, css, wordpress, and other "front-end-lite" coding. More about my experience, if you’re curious.
As I dive into this next product, I’m opening up my process to teach others how I concept, design, and build successful products. Follow along and you’ll see how I find and create viable business concepts and how I work as an independent. I hope you’ll find it entertaining but also useful, whether you’re interested in building your own business, want to learn more about design, or are learning new coding techniques like I am.
Why build software, solo?
I wrote a kind of bitter Twitter thread about why I’m getting back into software. But, the core reason is that I think I’m personally better suited to product design than education and I tend to enjoy it more.
But that doesn’t answer the other, bigger question: why go solo? Why not hire a developer, or find a partner?
This comes back to my central goal of working for myself: freedom. 8 years or so back I quit my salary gig and went out on my own because I wanted control over my own work. Finding a partner or hiring someone in-debts me to their opinions, methods, schedules, and reliability. Frankly, I’ve had some partnerships go south, and I’ve had people I hired prove unreliable. But really, that’s less a factor than the freedom to make my own calls and succeed or fail based on my own decisions and work.
That said, I have a mastermind group and network of peers I talk to regularly, so I’m not a lone wolf. I have advice from others I trust, even if they aren’t working on my projects alongside me.
So yeah, I’m one of those old school punk rock kids who still believes in DIY. For me, hiring someone is a last resort. If I can do it, I want to, because I find satisfaction in that. That might not make sense to you, but it works well for me.
Check out the product
For a bit of context, you might want to visit the site for Mod&Dot, the product I’m writing about. I’m sharing every step of designing and building this thing, so it might help to see what all the fuss is.