For the projects that you considered a full startup, how far did you pursue the idea?
Trey Huffine

Rentabuild (3d printer rentals) was probably the biggest hit. I had decent success marketing through blogs. I think the technology is so nascent and people are so excited that writers were thrilled to post it. I hit up manufacturers and got a distribution deal with a low-end model to rent and sell. I ended up canning it because I got burned out doing repairs, and the margins were too low to justify it. I think I probably had a lot of opportunities to iterate and find something that does work. But it was a side project, so I just crashed.

Currently working on the Bloom Landscape Assistant, using machine learning to help beginner gardeners and homeowners plan their yard. I was pretty excited, but none of my tricks from Rentabuild worked. My theory is that the space is so established that no one cares about a new software product. Rather than excited free press, I got quotes of $500-$5000 for a blog post. I’m trying to work through that, but again, it’s a side project, so a big pivot becomes a huge time commitment.

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