Product Hunt Makers Fest: making 200 Words a Day

I remember winning a writing contest as early as primary school. I always loved writing.

But the closer I got to college graduation, the less I wrote. It is tempting to spend all your time working and leave your voice aside.

What more, english is not my mother tongue, and thus I made several attempts at getting into a habit of writing in order to improve: I bought writing books, I started a blog … to no effect.

On November the 4th, I decided it could not keep going that way, and I committed to writing 200 words every day in public on Product Hunt.

This way, I quickly managed to get momentum, and went on a writing spree.

An unexpected consequence was that the challenge was inspiring people as well.

At the same time, I started noticing the lack of community dedicated to writing reviews and feedback:

And that’s how the idea for 200 Words a Day came to be at the back of my head.

Two days later, Anne-Laure Le Cunff commented:

We just had talked on Telegram about an issue I had at the startup I cofounded with two friends, when she mentioned two upcoming opportunities: the 24 Hour Startup Challenge, and the Product Hunt Makers Festival.

5 days later, the invites to the Product Hunt Makers Fest were being sent.

And that was the moment when everything came together: I decided to build 200 Words a Day during this special event: a community where people stick to writing 200 words every day and improve together.

Saying I was pumped up was an understatement.

I set out to make the damn thing. But I couldn’t do it in any way, I had to do it the Maker way.

I put together a public Trello detailing all the tasks I was performing and the milestones reached. I logged all the tasks on Makerlog and Product Hunt Makers. I tweeted all the key insights of the journey.

In parallel, I set up a Twitter account for the project and started onboarding motivated users who were ready to try the product and follow the process alongside me. One of the users, Gleb Sabirzyanov was actively helping me and his contributions proved to be insanely useful:

Other users started using the unfinished product, and this alone filled me joy:

Watching them use the product helped me tremendously with both external motivation and the improvement of the user experience. What more, I learnt that I was not only making this product to solve a personal problem, but also to make the new-found users who enjoy the product come to love it:️

All in all, this is what I completed over the week:

  • a complex fullstack MVP in 5 days, including: an authentication system, a writing UI along with a text editor à la Medium, a feed page (where users can read the 200 words of others), profile pages (with a writing day streak system) and a Feedback system (comments)
  • registered 32 users
  • launched it
  • completed 57 goals related to the project on PH Makers
  • + made myself happy.

What more to ask ?

Now I’m done writing this post and I feel like 200 Words a Day is already a success. Why is it ? Because it is the embodiment of what I stand for in the maker movement: transparency, collaboration, community, innovation, technical mastery and critical thinking.

Thank you to all the makers who participated in this journey. You are beyond awesome ❤

Basile out.