Welcome Mortal

Yes, I never wrote an official message to welcome you, my dear reader. So here it is: The welcome post. Eight years after I pushed the publish button for the first time, here on CuteMachine.

The idea back in 2008 was to write about mobile app development in general. Back then I developed iPhone apps to grow a business on the side. Between 2008 and 2011 I published over 30 iPhone and iPad apps.

For me the App Store was attractive because it allowed us to bring our own app ideas to market. My hope was being able to generate enough money to make a living from self published apps.

The app business is very hard to get right, if you want to have your own products. You might have a success in the App Store. But the question is how can you repeat your success? For me this was a question I could not answer.

Although I think all of my apps were of the same quality, only one had been really successful. It got successful, because Apple featured it on the front page of the Apple App Store.

All of my other apps were not visible to potential customers. So my success was dependent of a variable I could not control: Apple. This is not a business.

I shut down my mobile app business.

I pulled all apps from the store to rid myself of the cognitive load they were causing for me (iOS updates, support questions, et cetera).

After having shut down my mobile app business, I switched my efforts to building an affiliate site. Mainly because a friend of mine runs a very successful affiliate site. And it is a great site, not one of those crappy, filthy ones. This looked like a very good idea, because I had someone who was successful and offered me his counseling.

I built the site and wrote lots of content. After five months the website got traction and generated ramen money. At the same time I stopped writing content for the site. I realized that the topic — mobile sim cards — was to boring … Yes, I could have seen that right at the beginning when I started the site. Oh well …

So, again. I shut down what I had built and had to decide what to work on next.

For a long time I wanted to build a software as a service application. But I had no idea how to build a software as a service business. Therefore I started a Mastermind Group, so I could accelerate my learning and share what I have learned at the same time. This was good.

So, I built a software as a service business with a buddy from our Mastermind group. It took us five months to build and only a fraction of the time to shut it down. It was a failure. This story is worth a blog post on its own.

The above only outlines a fraction of the projects I built in the last eight years. You may call me a serial wannapreneur.

This sounds sad, but don’t get me wrong. The excitement to build digital doodah and a business is still here. Building products is what I love to do.

I do not regret having built those failed businesses. What bugs me most is that I have not shared my learnings. I missed the opportunity to learn in public and be of value to others.

I just did the math. In the 8 years that CuteMachine exists, I have written less than 10 words per day.

I have a strange feeling that there might be room for improvement …

Hell yeah, I will continue with building digital doodah. But this time I will make it better. This time I will share my successes, failures, and learnings with you …

I do not want to write much about what I plan to do in the near future, because that would be a promise. Promises are dangerous, as they are easily broken and create disappointment and distrust.

CuteMachine should be the place where I experiment and learn. I want to invite you to learn with me. Let’s build our freedom businesses together.

Now hustle,

Jo's Profile ImageWritten by Jo Meenen who lives and works in Frankfurt building digital doodah. Stalk him on Twitter