Hello friends. This week we touch on finding success in small projects, Basecamp's fiasco, what to do when you're developer with no design sense, and much more. Enjoy.

The Insight

Makers tend to overcomplicate things, especially early on. Most makers I've talked to have had at least one failed product that was too large in hindsight. We have this belief that if we just work on it for long enough, keep adding features, make the design better, ad infinitum, it will be successful — and that just isn't so. In fact, there's no correlation between the amount of time you spend on a project and how successful it will be. People are increasingly finding success in small projects built in 2 or 3 weeks, that happen to solve a painful problem for a lot of people. Inspired by a recent conversation with Xavier Coiffard on the IndieStack podcast.

The Indie Web

The News

  • Breaking Camp - "Basecamp announced it would ban “societal and political discussions” at work. But the hardest conversations at work were about the company itself." - The Verge
  • Basecamp implodes as employees flee company, including senior staff - "A controversial memo and a severance offer prompted many to head for the exits" - The Verge
  • Stripe acquires TaxJar to add cloud-based, automated sales tax tools into its payments platform - "[Stripe] has acquired TaxJar, a popular provider of a cloud-based suite of tax services, which can be used to automatically calculate, report and file sales taxes." - TechCrunch
  • Privacy browser Brave is launching its own Google search rival - "Two years after publicly launching a privacy-focussed browser, Brave, founded by former Mozilla executive Brendan Eich, is taking on Google’s search business too. The announcement of Brave Search puts the upstart in the rare position of taking on both Google’s browser and search dominance." - Wired
  • DigitalOcean says customer billing data accessed in data breach - "The cloud infrastructure giant told customers in an email on Wednesday [...] that it has “confirmed an unauthorized exposure of details associated with the billing profile on your DigitalOcean account.” - TechCrunch

Bonus Reading:

  • Japan’s newest Initiative using Technology to Improve Employee Health - "Monitoring Employee health using Sleep, Working Hours and Meals Intake data" - Eoraa & Co

The Answers

Start with a template. Nowadays there's a template for every kind of website within every kind of tool. For websites and landing pages, you'll find beautiful pre-made designs on Webflow or Carrd.co. If you're building a dashboard, ThemeForest will supply you with tons of Dashbord UI Kits for any framework you're using. If you're determined to build from scratch, with no template or kit, go to Dribbble or Behance for inspiration. And if you're looking to actually learn design from scratch, here's a great indie resource: https://undesign.learn.uno/

The Alternatives


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