Oh man, am I excited. This side project has been awhile coming.
I just released Engauge Analytics (https://engaugeanalytics.com/), a web analytics engine that allows you to get meaningful data from your website without stalking your users like some other large entities cough cough Google and Facebook cough cough.
What’s more, the paid tiers of Engauge allow you to get full, automated SEO evaluations of your sites, AND machine-learning driven content evaluations that help you know how your audience will react to your content BEFORE THEY VISIT.
Here are some of the lessons I learned while building it.
I was deep into building the UI for the app, with the analytics engine running and testing. A friend of mine got me a call with a friend who worked on product in a major company.
I walked him through the product from start to finish, using fancy words like "proprietary".
His first question: "So who are you making this for?"
Great question. I hadn't really thought about it.
So, side projects are fun and challenging. The biggest lesson I learned up front: If you're going to market it, think about who you're marketing it to.
Some of it was a little tough to hear. This was my baby, and I was incubating it from scratch and asking folks for feedback on how that baby should be raised was sometimes painful.
But, with every suggestion came an opportunity to grow the app. Not every suggestion got implemented, but some of it showed me that the app would go nowhere without it.
It was so big with the alpha users that it crashed the entire thing. I had to quickly scale, and think about scaling in a much bigger way.
Scaling the server and DB was easy, but I'm still not totally pleased with this. Any feedback for a relational database that scales large and gives quick queries?
This seems to be the first side project in a long while (maybe ever) that hasn't given me the itch to move on immediately. This is built, and I want to see it grow and succeed and scale like crazy.
I have to admit, I'm still really learning about it. I'll post some more, maybe some how-tos, on how I built some of this. But, I know there are still areas of growth in this that I haven't even touched. Do I copyright it? Patent the algorithms? Scale to a different database structure? Multi-tenancy?
Time to keep learning!