Progress Report 1: Documenting the journey

March 06, 2020

I appreciate when folks trying to find success on the internet document what they are up to, so I’ll try to do the same.

Lately, I’ve been focused less on developing the MVP for DepChecker with customers in my network and more focused on becoming an authority/known person in the JavaScript/npm dependency space, while gauging folks’ interest in monitoring dependencies generally through articles, tweets, and soon a really basic email newsletter. Ultimate goal is to leverage my audience as customer/feedback base for eventual DepChecker, which I plan to get the ball rolling on more formally in coming weeks.

Here’s a breakdown of notable things I’ve done in the past couple weeks…

  • Sent 20ish super targeted, personalized cold emails to various people with no real responses. Can see that only one person visited the link I provided to a dependency analysis of one of their projects.
  • Chatted with a few folks in my network just generally about npm dependency management. Learned that security is main concern for most, which has plenty of solutions that I don’t want to compete with. I still have tons to learn and pin down I think before moving forward with any more product development. Just not seeing the clear solution to the problem, and the problem is still too vague.
  • I wrote a quick post and posted on dev.to called 7 projects starred by top JavaScript developers that you should check out which became a top post for the week and got me 430 followers on that platform.
  • Started scheduling a daily tweet featuring an npm dependency. One of them blew up (relatively speaking) and got the attention of the official npm Twitter account (>100k followers). They reached out to me and plan to feature my daily tweets and the 7 projects starred by top JavaScript developers that you should check out article in an upcoming newsletter!
  • Leveraging sloppy code I wrote for the 7 projects article, I whipped together a little email service called Follow the Stars, where it sends a weekly email with the repos that the folks you follow on GitHub have starred. Goal here is 1) to keep building my personal brand and 2) get a list of people interested in keeping up with open source projects/dependencies. I’ll start marketing that more soon once I’m sure the automated emails work on Sunday.

To do

  • Get people signed up to Follow the Stars and reach out to them about DepChecker.
  • Keep doing daily npm tweets
  • Write a weekly article like the one that did really well to keep getting eyeballs on me and the things I’m working on.
  • Reach out to the people that have been showing interest in my dependency-related projects for DepChecker research.

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Ryan J. Yost

Hi, I'm Ryan. I live and work in Chicago as a Front End Engineer. I'm always building side projects and write JavaScript-related tutorials that help folks build things, too. Follow me on Twitter