46 posts15,987 words

Some posts about building digital products


Oct 14, 2020

Seizing Market Opportunities

I had a remote chat with a childhood friend of mine about his new solo business two days ago. We've been following each other since we are 3, so I was really moved when he told me I inspired him to launch his own company. The concept is simple: he holds an engineering degree in nutrition, has been a...

238 words

Oct 8, 2020

200WaD: The End

I decided to give myself till the second anniversary of 200 Words a Day on November 22nd to see if I can create some new growth for this website. After that, I'll either pull the plug or pivot to a paid productivity tool. When I started Writelier, I just wanted to develop a writing habit. It quickly...

429 words

Oct 7, 2020

Writelier Marketing Q4 2020

Over the last two years, the biggest mistake I made regarding Writelier was to spend too much time coding, and not enough time marketing or taking care of the community. Writelier, or 200 Words a Day as it was called at the time, took off immediately. I didn't feel the need for a marketing strategy ...

222 words

Oct 1, 2020

From Dynamic to Pre-Rendered SPA

I'm currently working on transitioning Writelier from an isomorphic app to a static-generated single page application. The goal is three-fold: remove loading times, obtain a resilient app that doesn't need an Internet connection to work, and increase my target audience to mobile and desktop users. A...

395 words

Sep 30, 2020

Big Fish, Small Fish

The Internet counted a billion websites as of January 2020, but less than 25% of them, about 200 million, are active. One active website for every 39 persons in the world. It seems like a lot, but in a span of six months, the total number of websites doubled, and just today, more than 6 million blog...

209 words

Sep 5, 2020

Venture Studios

Tech companies with a plethora of employees take months to come up with working startup prototypes, while some indie makers manage to launch minimum viable products in less than a month, sometimes in a single day. In a competitive sector where your startup's iteration speed is key, and as a young te...

308 words

Sep 4, 2020

Dealing With Spams

The spamming issue is getting worse lately, so I'm taking that into account in the new website. Not sure why some people have time to spam an indie website, but it's getting annoying. I've spent the last couple of days deleting spam articles, banning fake users and IP addresses, to no avail. The pro...

263 words

Sep 3, 2020

One More Week Before Cowriters V2

Just one more week to go before I release the new website! Some previous features like notifications, developer APIs, badges, or email reminders might go missing for a few days, but I don't want to wait for everything to be perfect to launch. After all, I haven't published any new update in months. ...

278 words

Sep 2, 2020

The Cost of Email Marketing

Sending emails is an important part of any website for marketing or transactional tasks, but it isn't free. You have to pay for a domain name, an email server, and software to use it and make the most of it: the bill quickly becomes expensive as you scale. To send 30,000 emails, you'd need to pay at...

374 words

Aug 30, 2020


I love grid layouts. It's my favorite type of layouts, and I do intend on using them as much as I can on Cowriters' new website. A few reasons come to mind. Grids allow you to take some height. They are great to scan a lot of content at once and easier to navigate. If you manage to blend in all the ...

354 words

Aug 20, 2020

Isomorphic, then Static, then Single Page

Three months ago, I wrote about why we need to combine different web rendering strategies to have an optimal balance between SEO and user experience. As I am in the middle of rewriting Cowriters' codebase following my own advice, I found out it's much more efficient to take into account each renderi...

524 words

Aug 18, 2020

On Code Generators

Developers underestimate the power of code generators. We don't always need more abstraction in the form of libraries, frameworks, or software products. When we are used to coding features a certain way, it isn't always in our best interest to make things simpler in the long run at the expense of a ...

535 words

Aug 16, 2020

September 10, 2020: New Cowriters Website

Cowriters (formerly 200 Words a Day) is entering a new phase on September 10, 2020. I spent the last two years asking myself how to make writing a sustainable lifestyle for everyone. After much consideration, I decided 7 months ago I needed to reinvent 200 Words A Day, to better help our members dev...

504 words

Aug 15, 2020

Minimum Viable Product: Development Timeline

This is how I would formalize my development pipeline when it comes to launching a new minimum viable product: 1. Mission/Vision definition: to delimit the MVP 2. Write down value prop (main features and qualities: what will decide a user to try out our solution) 3. Find available name (.com, ...

339 words

Aug 12, 2020

Speedrun Startup Challenge

It's possible to code a startup in 24 hours by yourself. When Pat Walls live-streamed himself building and launching a startup in 24 hours two years ago, he not only proved it but also inspired a whole generation of makers to do the same, like Pieter Levels and his 12 startups in 12 months challenge...

306 words

Jul 27, 2020

Financial Independence and Entrepreneurship

If you spend $1000 per month to cover your expenses, you'll need $300,000 ($1,000 * 12 * 25) invested in index funds to live off passive income. To reach this situation within 10 years without debt, you'd need to make at least $42,000 per year. As an entrepreneur, that would mean $3500 in monthly re...

242 words

Jul 20, 2020

Agile Principles

The Agile manifesto proposes four principles to craft software: * Individuals and interactions over processes and tools: the job must be done as efficiently as possible, so tools and processes should be adapted to the team, instead of the other way around. * Working software over comprehensive doc...

244 words

Jun 8, 2020

Still French

Ever since I set my eyes on becoming a software engineer, I've always wanted to work at an international level and be a world-class artisan. I started seriously studying English relatively late, around 15. Spanish was my main second language, but I wanted to join a high-school course taught in Engli...

266 words

Jun 3, 2020

How I Registered My Business

When I started making my own products, I wanted to establish the business as soon as possible. I had to lower the barriers to entry as much as I could, so I opted for the simplest solution: the French solopreneur status (also known as micro-business, micro-entrepreneur, or also auto-entrepreneur). R...

623 words

May 14, 2020

A Web Agency For Writers

I'm still working on the concept of my umbrella company Writelier, but I'm very close to getting the core idea exactly as I want it. Writelier is a venture studio with a simple mission statement: to give written content creators the tools they need to blossom. The business activities include custom ...

209 words

May 7, 2020


150, also known as Dunbar's number, is the theoretical cognitive limit to how many people we can maintain stable social relationships with. Even though this is not an exact number depending on who is concerned, it tells us that we have to be wary of who we let in our lives. I think it's especially i...

243 words

May 5, 2020

April Review

After two years working on growing startups non-stop, I decided last month to take a break from making and perform a digital declutter. I believe it was the right time to take a step back and think about where I want to take things. I kept on writing and coding from time to time, but I'm not nearly ...

640 words

Mar 12, 2020

The Shokunin Model

When people tell me I think too much like a "coder crafstman" and not enough like a real entrepreneur, well, I can't help but feel proud. I certainly don't see myself as either an entrepreneur or a freelancer. Life is too short for labels. My goal isn't to make money while I sleep or to work for oth...

362 words

Mar 10, 2020

The Product Machine

There is a loose correlation between the number of digital products you managed to launch and your level of success as an indie maker. The more you do it, the better you get at it. That's the assumption the 12 Products in 12 Months challenge is based upon. It takes a long time to grow a business, bu...

368 words