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Cover image for How I learned to get over tech choices & embrace boilerplates after 1 year of development
Dan Mindru
Dan Mindru

Posted on • Updated on

How I learned to get over tech choices & embrace boilerplates after 1 year of development

I've been building many things over the past couple years and this is the result of that experience. The 1st product took 1 year to make and didn't get much adoption at all.
My latest product was made in 30 days and has over 100 sales already.

I used to think:

"I can do it better"

"I can do it faster"

"I'll make something simple"

This only kept me from doing the actual work.

  • validating my idea
  • getting the MVP out
  • testing with actual users

Development is not just coding it's also talking to users, getting feedback & marketing. It doesn't matter how well you can build a thing no one has heard about.

Image of Konami cheat code meme

Boilerplates are a cheat code

After I've been a web developer for more than a decade, a sizeable chunk of pride has infected my thinking.
Since I built so many things, I can surely do this better.

But it's not about "better". That's just our ego getting in a way. If you build something that people will use & love, it just needs to solve a problem.

The sooner you understand that and embrace it - the sooner you'll let go of shiny tech and ship something - the sooner you'll find out if this is even worth building.
And it's better to fail sooner too - before you spend months building a technical marvel that has no real world use case.

If you start from a boilerplate, you'll be able to start on the product from day one*.

Why are they so good?

  1. You don't have to take technical decisions (or fewer)
  2. You get to direct your initial excitement into the product
  3. They'll likely include newer patterns, libraries or approaches that you'll learn from
  4. You get indexed by search engines. That takes time and the sooner you do it the better.
  5. And most importantly! They help you ship & deploy early

Animated gif of pages getting indexed

Why is shipping early important

Most of us have tried to work on projects that end up nowhere. We set up a bunch of clever things and then soon realize... this is a lot of work.
And we let them wait for 1 month and our brain says: "Nope, I am not working on this chief".

We all have problems staying motivated. If you're motivation is all spent on setting up the project, you'll likely never finish that project.

Boilerplates are a magic trick so you can gain momentum.
Once you have deployed something, you will keep iterating on it and tweaking it

And once you have deployed something, you will share it with people that'll validate your idea.
From then on, you'll be working on the product - and that's why boilerplates are worth their weight in gold.

They are a clever "hack" to get your working on the product and avoid early overengineering.

Plus, you will always learn a thing or two by using a boilerplate. Always.

Some practical tips

Since I've been doing this for so long, I've used many different stacks throughout my career. From Angular to Vue to React and all in between.

Today I'm on Next.js and this has to be the pinnacle of webdev. It just has to. Zero config, deployment in < 1 min, no DevOps setup and free plan until you go commercial.

I can't recommend it enough. When it comes to boilerplates, they have an incredible ecosystem. Head over to and pick & choose what you need. Everything I tried was great.


We're so spoiled as web developers these days.

Overview of next.js starter templates on Vercel


To sum this up: start with a boilerplate. Always.
Embrace it and deploy that thing today if you can.

Get over your ego and focus on what's important early. You can always rework it if the project is successful enough.

Some final words.

After building more than 5 products* this year, I have put together all the good patterns, design and tech into an app that can generate a customized boilerplates in literally minutes.
All my projects use it as a baseline and they have great SEO, performant Markdown blog running Next.js 14, Typescript, TailwindCSS + Shadcn UI with whatever theme I like.

The best part? You still get 1-click deploy to Vercel.

Again, all of the templates by Vercel are awesome and a life saver. If you want a landing page, blog or product website up right now, Shipixen could be your cheat code.

*here are some of the products I've built

  • Clobbr an app to load test APIs
  • Crontap a SaaS to schedule API calls online
  • MRRArt a web app to make ascii charts that can be shared on SoMe
  • ContentPal a SaaS to generate SEO content.
  • product hunt live stats that could support ads

Top comments (1)

framemuse profile image
Valery Zinchenko • Edited

I think that's just natural when you get some experience in the stack, you're tend to use the same that you're already used to with already written utils and settled workflow and practices template.