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Relooking at 2023

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a lone person walking in the middle of a desert

2023 was a year of change for me. Some of the change are expected, some weren’t confirmed, and others were not planned. Regardless, everything turns out to be a rather great year.

As I enter 2024 with an almost entirely different outlook – in that I mostly have no idea what change is to come – I want to reflect back on the changes in 2023 and how they come about.

Changes that I have anticipated

👉 Moving into a new house

We have completed the house purchase process in 2022 Nov, so it is a matter of time before the renovation work complete for us to move in. However, we did enter 2023 without a clue how the renovation would turn out to be as there are many other factors at play (eg. budget).

Changes that I semi prepared for but wasn’t sure if it would happen

👉 Converting my employment from full time to part time

I have informed my boss in Oct 2022 that I would like to convert to part time, but there wasn’t any confirmed part time offer / arrangement shared to me – despite multiple followup I did. Coupled this with my saas MRR growth that slowed down, I actually become very unsure whether this would happen. It is great that this eventually happened in July 2023, and things have been great so far.

👉 Changing my iphone and laptop

My iphone has been with me for 7 years, and my Macbook for 10 years. I have been wanting to upgrade them, as I would rather be in control when I change them and not have a surprise when they died suddenly. I have managed to save up in early 2023 but both my old laptop and iphone were still working perfectly, so I procrastinate quite a bit.

Glad that I eventually change them.

Changes that I was expecting, but didn’t happen

👉 MRR Growth for my main Shopify App 1

After having a good year in 2022, I was expecting to have the same or better MRR growth for my Shopify App 1.

Unfortunately I fell right at my face.

The growth was still but it has largely slowed down and nowhere near 2022’s growth rate.

👉 My third Shopify app – launched and died

My 3rd app launched in Jan 2023, it has very minor traction and I later realize I overlooked one of the important technical aspect of the app, which is email deliverability.

To solve this problem would require switching email sending platform, and given the lack of obvious traction I decided to close it down instead.

I tried putting it up for sale on acquire.com but similarly the need to explain and present proves to be too much of a hassle for me. So it has been taken down and basically declared dead in the passage of time.

👉 The app that didn’t launch

I have been waiting to launch something that release me of the constraint of being a Shopify plugin.

I got an idea of a cross-platform unified analytics tool called Tallywave in March (I think), and Rao has started working on it. Unfortunately the slow progress become extremely frustrating plus my own realization on how this is a bad idea, since now I don’t just have just support Shopify API, but also API from multiple other platforms.

This runs totally in the opposite direction of what I want to achieve so I eventually have to shut it down.

Changes that I didn’t expect to happen

👉 Having my second baby

In all fairness, we were open about it but I personally thought it might take sometime. We are glad that K came even though it was a little early than what I was expecting.

👉 Sold my 2nd Shopify app

I have put up my 2nd Shopify app for sale since 2022, and nothing much come out of it. I was rather skeptical and have largely forgotten about it, but a buyer came and scoop it up. I did a full writeup here if you are interested.

👉 The ideation of new app

Around end of Q2 as I closed down Tallywave, I had another app idea.

It took me a few weeks to finally decided to have a go at it. In fact, the more I think about it the more I realize this is the idea that I have been wanting to work on.

It checked a lot of boxes, in terms of the product vision, expandability and scope that overlapped with my interest in long term

I have come to realize this could be something I want to work on for the next 10-20 years, or possibly longer.

Well, the bad news is it is not validated yet and I could have just fallen flat on my face in 2024.

Anyway it is set to launch before Feb 2024.

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