12 Startups in 12 Months

December 16, 2020

“12 Startups in 12 Months” has been a relatively popular goal for a little bit now. The idea is to give yourself 12 months to attempt to start 12 unique companies, in a “fail fast” approach, with the goal of finding something that sticks.

This is, in my opinion, a good goal. It splits evenly into a year (1 concept per month), and gives you a set amount of time for each attempt. At the end of the year you will have 12 “live” things, and have give most of the ideas time to gain some traction. It is also nicely set up to improve your time management skills, as you are slowly adding more to your plate as the year progresses, and can carry-forward lessons learned from each iteration.

Unfortunately, due to US work status regulations, I am going to have to do things a little differently.

I will be attempting to launch 12 products in 12 months, with the goal that each of these products could in the future be turned in to a revenue-generating business.

This distinction unfortunately limits my options, because I can not receive revenue from these products, so any costs are out of pocket. If something starts gaining significant traction, I’ll have to make some life decisions I guess.

A major indicator of true traction is that it is a product that people are willing to pay for. To attempt to approximate this I’ll be measuring payment intent, and direct users to make charitable donations instead.

The requirements (more like guidelines, really) that I am targeting are:

  • Can not interfere with my full-time position
  • Minimal up-front or on-going cost
  • Bottom-up land-and-expand sales potential
  • Not Consumer Facing
  • Likely focused on developer/engineering tools

The first of these, which I released in November 2020, was MergeDeps; a tool for blocking Pull Request merges based on the state of dependencies.

I’ll be trying to post updates as I go, and be more active on Twitter.

Wish me luck,