How I Got 352 Pageviews and 1 Follower
Disclaimer: Over 85% of the pageviews are bots with a 100% bounce rate, the other 10% are mine and my friends and the other 5% from Wikipedia, where I was able to link my site and actually provide value.
I will get straight to the point since I do not want to waste my time like I do mine.
Long story short:
One of my friends told me there was no good place to just copy and paste Markdown with proper Syntax highlighting. So we did what everyone with a few basic skills would do, sit down and hack together a website to paste Markdown.
Here is one thing I wanted to share with everyone in this post:
I have started to come up with a set of tactics to sell myself everything I want as something super amazing, exciting, world-changing… short: I am like a kid pretending I can live in the sand castle I just built (if I was either smaller or the sand would stay in it’s place and I had a couple years to work on it, but still I could).
If you are like me stalking Medium’s top stories every day, you probably already realized that you have seen a post like this. Once I rewrote the introduction for my purposes I realized I wanted to rewrite a completely different post. But you know what? I have already sold myself the introduction (world-changing, amazing and so on), so it’s there to stay.
What I actually wanted to talk about are ideas. Ideas. I do have a lot of them, like millions of other people probably do. But I usually fall in love with them and can’t let go until I realize it’s completely out of my reach, it already exists, no one will ever need this and so on.
- With 15 I tried running a “game hacking” site and wanted to grow it bigger than all the others (of course).
- With 16 I was running an URL shortener, because believe me: The world needed another one.
- With 17 I started running a Tumblr promotion website, which is still running today.
- With 18 I fell in love and had no time for stupid ideas, was finishing highschool, worked as a bike messenger and worked as an intern for online marketing.
- When I turned 19 I had pretty much everything to complete a bunch of my stupid ideas. Now I have time, money and a good friend and coder, who helps me out a lot.
I had everything
For the first time in my life things were working out and I had time to finish stuff. I cut my working hours in half, working 20 hours a week, leaving me with 148 hours +/- sleep to work on my projects. My girlfriend was in Australia and I had a little money to invest in project, if I needed to.
You won’t believe what happened next!
(I have been waiting to use this type of “headline” for ages, sorry.)
My friend and I recoded the whole Tumblr promotion site, switching from PHP to Python, from a shared hosting to a more expensive virtual server, redesigning a few things, but what stayed the same: the site. We reworked the whole backend and kept most of the frontend, meaning we actually did not change anything (at least for the users).
After this we were thinking of going into app development, which was discarded after a few weeks after we realized no one was really good at this. When my friend released a disassembler library on Github he fell in love with Markdown, just like I did when I started using Ghost. When he tried pasting his Markdown to someone else, he was looking for a way to share the styled Markdown, but apparentley could not find a good website for it, so we decided to create our own. We figured we could do it within a few hours and actually we did, but we wanted more:
- Syntax Highlighting
- A “fork” function
- View the raw file
- A short link
- A cool name & design
- Other people to use it
Since we are not great with all the frontend “bullshit” (btw: hit me up if you like wasting time on useless products and love building amazing frontends), we needed to figure out ways to get around it. We found a beautiful design from HTML5Up and used Highlight.js for Syntax Highlighting.
The basic backend was up within hours, what took us longer than expected was all the frontend work, so it took us about 7 days (still pretty good I think). The result was a beautiful product, which is used by 2 people on daily basis.
We are still in love with our product, but I was curious why nobody else had something like this. Turns out: Of course somebody has something like it with even better features.
Do your freaking research
We saw an opportunity and just started working on it straight away, without even looking for competitors (okay, this is not your billion dollar idea, but still it feels stupid creating something, someone already has). We spend a few bucks on the domain (, we even own the cool startup-scene-like-URL ismd.io). But in the end it turns out there is someone, doing the same thing better. So lesson learned, before you fall in love with your idea think about it for couple of days and do a little research.
Required promotional message: If you are looking for an easy way to paste your Markdown without signing up anywhere, you should take a look at PasteMarkdown.com
@Ali Mese: Sorry, that I stole your headline and rewrote part of your post for my horrible story. But I did enjoy reading your content, still do.