Looks like the Medium post is deleted. Can't even keep up with that!
Since it has been deleted, here's a link from the Google cache: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:gPVFv4HHcZUJ:https://medium.com/%40julienrenvoye/i-love-building-side-projects-but-here-s-one-lesson-i-learned-with-my-last-one-313126350de3+&cd=1&hl=nl&ct=clnk&gl=nl
Their website has all the trappings of a "real" business -- and therefore users have certain expectations of it.
I'm not gonna say Julien did this/that "right" or "wrong". I love that he solved a problem, and that it actually helped people. It sucks that he couldn't continue working on it. Hopefully this doesn't dissuade him from creating cool things in the future.
But once you start marketing yourself, and accepting sign-ups ... you've crossed into "this is a real business" territory, and people start to have certain expectations.
Perhaps they could've been more clear that "Juiiicy is a side project... purely for your enjoyment... mileage may vary", etc. Because when I look at their site, it looks like a legit, funded startup, and therefore my expectations are much higher than if they'd stated otherwise.
My initial thought is that Assembly could've been greatly helpful here. It's a great way to share responsibility for (or entirely hand-off) a project such as Juiiicy. If I were in Julien's situation, I'd certainly explore that option :)
This is something I struggle with—keeping up with a side project requires mental overhead.
I've long wanted to do a weekly newsletter with updates about space, but my work on Signal Tower and a DN for advertising keep me busy.
I think the issue here is it becomes more than a side project when money is being transferred. At that point it becomes a side business, and there are expectations from customers.
I've got the same problem too, and that's why the Julien story resonated with me.
I've actually stopped 2 side projects I was working on: Fontastic and Agile designers, selling them to a person who will have more time taking care of it.
That way, I can focus on my core job: creating icons and digital ressources. And it's still too much to manage!
There is a "brain" cost to switch between projects, especially when they use different skills and technologies.
Curious Vincent, how did you go about selling your projects? Was someone already interested, or did you reach out to someone who you thought could benefit?
Someone reach me out because he was interested. I cannot tell more for now :-)
Couldn't agree more with this article.