Thoughts about tech, programming, and more.

Rebuilding Kipos & learning online marketing

Kipos was one of the first applications I built with Ruby on Rails. The app allows you to view your upcoming bill payments and paycheques, check off that you have paid them, and view a forecast of your future account balance based on your upcoming cash flow and your current account balance.

I made it specifically because my wife and I  wanted something that provided these features and we've used it consistently ever since I built the original version (despite some fairly annoying bugs and broken features). However, I never had a particular user in mind when I was building it other than ourselves. We used it for personal finances as well as business finances. It's been very useful for both and is especially helpful for those bills that cannot be set up on automatic payment.

I decided to rebuild the application from the ground up earlier this year and I am now close to wrapping up the must-have features for launching it. I probably could have wrapped it up within a week with full-time work but this is a side project and there have also been other side projects that have taken priority during this time.

The rebuild feels more like Kipos 2.0 but at the same time, it's like a v1 launch since no effort when into marketing the first time around. The original version allowed users to subscribe but when you put zero effort into marketing, the only signups are going to be bot accounts.

It's almost like coding isn't the most important skill when it comes to launching a product...

As a developer, I've run from that truth for some time and fought the need to learn marketing myself. The reality is that you can't code yourself to a successful product – so hopefully that revelation has landed deep enough to make things happen.

The difficulty of learning online marketing

The stage I'm currently at feels very similar to the stage I experienced at the beginning of learning to code. It's as though there is a giant wall in front of me and I need to get passed it somehow. There are paths and doors through this wall but I can't see the other side so there is no guarantee that a particular path will take me to the destination on the other side that I'm looking for. I think this is where a lot of people get stuck and remain. You have to be willing to push ahead without someone holding your hand.

What makes it harder compared to learning to code is that I'm not getting into marketing due to curiosity as I did with coding, I'm getting into it due to necessity. But I suppose that's only partially true now. I've seen how crucial marketing is so I'm also embarking on this because I want to successfully launch my own products. I want that far more than I don't want to touch marketing.

And what makes this time around learning online marketing easier compared to when I was learning to code is that I now know the process of learning. I have seen that process from this side of the wall, as well as the other side. I know what it looks like to arrive at my desired destination on the other side so I know that if I can persist past this blind and awkward wall, I will begin to pick up speed on the other side and momentum will be a major factor as I begin to taste some fruit of my efforts.

That's another topic that I have thought a good deal about: momentum. Momentum is a primary key for so many things in our lives and I believe that a lack of understanding of momentum in our daily lives, activities, habits and goals is why so many people "fail" and then beat themselves up for it. But that's a topic for another day.

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Jamie Larson