The weekend of November 17th, 2018 marked the biggest independent startup event in history: over 160 makers challenged themselves to build a product in less than 24 hours—all while live streaming. The community voted to choose their favourite products. Now, a little over one month later, we look back at some winners of the challenge and where they are now.
Adding monetization to the roadmap
Ethan is considered one of the most prolific makers of this year. After dabbling with a few side projects last year, he came onto the scene launching Kanban Mail, garnering a lot of attention and becoming one of the must-watch makers during the stream.
Ethan streamed for over 24 hours straight during the event, and launched maker.rocks, a customizable profile page for makers. The product got a lot of attention, with several hundred makers signing up to reserve their domain just minutes after the registration page was live. It was therefore hard to imagine that Ethan would not reach a high spot in the votings. He indeed ultimately won the challenge.
This month, Ethan has continued to work on maker.rocks and as usual has been sharing the process on social media. As of now, it looks like the project is alive and well: new features such as color customizations and new integrations are being added continuously. He is also exploring monetization strategies through potential premium features.
While very few products started generating revenue during the challenge itself, Ethan is not the only one thinking of ways to make the product they built during the even profitable. “I’d like to do some small changes to the UI and add even more words. After that, I’m planning on exploring monetization methods, maybe even a business name generator”, explains Steph Smith.
Steph built Eunoia, a collection of words that don’t translate. She received a lot of attention early in the challenge. On launch, there was a healthy set of words that are unique to a specific language, presented in a clean and simple interface, making it the #2 product of the day on Product Hunt, and winning 5th place in the challenge. Steph has been busy improving the product since then, adding another set of 150 words.
The product had close to 10,000 unique users in the first month, with users sharing the site and their favourite words on it all over social media. Reason enough to keep working on it. “The challenge was empowering!” she says.
Keeping it free
On the other hand, some makers have no intention of monetising the products they built during the challenge.
As one of the well known makers in the community, people were excited to see what Anne-Laure would be building. She ended up deciding on a project called Teeny Breaks, a browser extension that promotes mindfulness at work by giving suggestions to take a break, drink a glass of water, or even leave the computer.
With her very authentic streaming style and because of the fact that she was the first participant to finish the challenge, she ended up becoming one of the most popular streams, ultimately winning third place.
One month after the challenge, Teeny Breaks is still doing well. “Since I launched, Brave announced support for tabs extensions. I am also in talk with a journalist to include the extension in a round up of mindfulness tools, which should go live in January. The most exciting thing is that another maker is turning it into a menubar for Windows and Mac OS, which will be open source and available on GitHub.”
The tool also reached small virality, after makers in the community started acting on the suggestions shown on screen.
As of today, Teeny Breaks counts 210 active users. With people keeping on sharing their excitement about the product, chances are that this number will continue to grow.
Taking the slow road to success
Sergio Mattei had an ambitious goal for the challenge: in only 24 hours, the MakerLog founder was planning on building a complete developer tool for monitoring called Opsbot. His great work ethic, ambitious idea and community work ended up getting him the 6th spot, but Opsbot never launched. Looking at the landing page, there is a way to request early access, but no public registration.
“I didn’t feel like it’s ready. I’m very against the trend of launching products fast—I’ve always been about creating solid, high quality products and I wasn’t willing to tarnish that reputation as Opsbot was of pre-alpha quality at best”, Sergio explains.
The fact that the product is something that developers would rely on for their daily operations also kept him from launching. “Stability and functionality are critical for a developer product for which people are paying and relying on, it just wasn’t there.”
In the meantime, Pat Walls, one of the co-founders of the challenge, has announced on Telegram that the next edition will take place shortly. In a recent op-ed, he explained why he is bullish on live streaming for 2019. This will definitely be a trend to watch.