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I am building two businesses while working full time, Ask Me Anything!

valentinprgnd profile image Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) ・1 min read

Hello!

I am currently building two businesses: Speakbox and Variate while working full time at Telus.

I would love to share experiences and answer any questions. Ask me anything!

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sagar profile image
Sagar

That's awesome Man πŸ‘¨ !!

I want to do the same thing but failed to do so because I have an unexpected requirement that is not fulfilled over the deadline.

Could you please share with me "What process are you following for building any kind of apps from scratch?"

Thanks in advance 😊

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valentinprgnd profile image
Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

Unexpected requirements are unfortunately pretty common!

The first important thing is inspiration. I usually am the most productive when I work on what inspires me at the moment. It is not possible every time, some tasks are going to be required and not inspiring, but if you have some flexibility on the timeline to deliver them, wait until inspiration comes to work on those. If you work on related tasks, the inspiration for less inspiring tasks can be provoked. Check out this episode of SchiShow, it really describes well my vision on this topic: youtube.com/watch?v=FDPJTo-gNUI

The second important thing I try to force myself to do is to stay lean. I try to lay down the main vision and principles/values of the project. Create a good framework to prioritize the tasks based on that.

Then I try to define the requirements for the application. If anything doesn't match the main goal, the main vision, the principles/values of the project, it will go on the backburner. Deliver the high-value items first, the rest can wait for post-MVP. Repeat.

All the best with your projects Sagar, you got this!

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sagar profile image
Sagar

Thanks for sharing your experience of build things. I'll try to implement the same thing in my life.

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

How to you take care of your physical and mental health?
How do you make time for deep work?
How much do you sleep?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything
  1. I have exercise times set up in my calendar (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). I also play music, spend time with my partner and see friends to relax.
  2. I live with a sleep disorder, Delayed-Sleep Phase Disorder, which makes me go to be really late (2/3 am), so usually at night, from 11 pm to 3 am I can really get in the zone on my tasks.
  3. Usually around 7 hours, sometimes a bit less if I have an early appointment. Because of my sleep disorder, I don't work the typical 9 to 5. I usually start my day job around 12 pm, take a break around 5 pm, then work a bit more from 9 pm to 11 pm, then switch to my side projects.
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Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

That sounds good. I struggle to structure my work week. The freedom that I can do anything at anytime is great but frightening at the same time. Apparently you have found something that works for you. But how did you get there?

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valentinprgnd profile image
Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

A good prioritization system and following my inspiration. If you have some flexibility on your hours, I would highly recommend following your inspiration, works amazing for me! :)

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fergarram profile image
Fernando Garcia

Hey Jean-Michel!
Not knowing how to spend your time can indeed be overwhelming and frightening. A good starting point is making a list of all projects or activities that you'd like to spend your time on and once you have them all start trimming the list until you get about 3 items. What's the hard part about structuring your work week?

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Zachary Stone

How much sleep do you get? Haha

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zacharythomasstone profile image
Zachary Stone

That is an accomplishment and will make your businesses go far! I am happy to hear you are getting good rest

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cishiv profile image
Shivan Moodley

Are you actively working on your businesses every day? Or do you have certain evenings/days set aside for the work?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

I have assigned days in my calendar. So Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays/Sundays I should work on Speakbox, Tuesdays/Thursdays/Saturdays I should work on Variate. Keeps it organized and avoid having to make the decision on what to work on.

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cishiv profile image
Shivan Moodley

Thanks for the answer. I'm thinking of a similar time split to work on writing and my side hustle. Very insightful!

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josue rodriguez

what platform are you using for both business and why?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

Both use GCP heavily, with Firebase where it makes sense to save some time on the development process. Both apps are built with JavaScript, Nuxt.js for frontend, Node.js on the backend, which is mostly serverless. Variate has some Python components on the way for our reporting/data processing feature.

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Shannon Crabill

How do you balance time between your businesses, work, family, and personal life? Do you feel like you're 100% present in any of those at a given time?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

Hi Shannon, great question!

I think balance is subjective. I usually don't try to perfectly balance everything. There are times where I focus more on my personal life/family and other times where I get busier with work or business, although I feel like I am getting pretty focused on each area most of the time.

The main thing I am trying to follow is going with inspiration and intuition. If I wake up and I am not inspired to work on one of my side projects, then I don't work on it or reduce the amount of time spent on it for the day. The tricky one is my day job since I can't really afford not to go!

For family time, I don't have kids yet and my girlfriend and I always have time shared during the day (we share meals as much as we can and have some chill time in the evening as well, before getting productive again). It also helps that she works in tech.

For me time, I also time block time for meditation, exercise, TV-show binging, music or anything (depending on the inspiration). However, coding is also a passion of mine, so my side-projects sometimes feel more like a hobby than work.

The bottom line is, I work/do what inspires me at the moment, with slight guidance in respect to my deadlines or objectives (which I can set to be as aggressive or relaxed as I want for my side projects)

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afrazs

Can you share your time table please?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

I started the programming work on the second version of Speakbox this summer, it will be ready to launch next month. With Variate, a lot of thought is going in the test engine and reporting infrastructure, but we’re likely to go live in the first quarter of 2020.

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Leon de Almeida

What are you doing to build a potential user base for your two businesses?

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Valentin Prugnaud 🦊 (he / him) Ask Me Anything

For Speakbox, I don’t really take care of that: Aidan, one of my co-founders, is working in the mental health field, directly connected to potential users, and speaking at numeral conferences all around the world, in which he can spread the word about what we are doing.

For Variate, our prototype isn’t fully done yet, but we are preparing a ton of documentation, video tutorials and we will most likely give talks at several dev meetups and conferences to try and find devs willing to be our initial free beta users. Then, once the MVP is stable and documented thoroughly, we’ll probably do a bigger marketing push using traditional social media/advertisement channels, while still attending meetups etc...