I wanted to give a quick update on Accountability Pledge. My goal was to launch the product by the end of May which isn’t going to happen.

Unfortunately, I fell into the classic developer trap…

I’ve spent the last few weeks distracted by learning a new web development framework instead of actually building the product with what I already know ๐Ÿ˜….

I have to constantly remind myself that your end users do not care what tools you use to build your product. They don’t care how beautiful (or ugly ๐Ÿ˜†) your code is, or how complete your test coverage is. These are all things that only developers care about. None of that matters to the end user, all they care about is if the product provides value and benefit to them.

I know part of the reason I fell into this distraction was out of fear of actually building and shipping Accountability Pledge. It’s the first product I’m building that I’ll actually be charging for upfront. I’m afraid people won’t find value in it. I’m afraid I’ll build it and not one person will even use it. Never launching is the easiest way to avoid that fear, but the worst way to become free from it. The only way to free yourself from that fear is to take the leap and see what happens.

For a couple of days, I seriously considered abandoning the project altogether and finding a new problem to solve. Fortunately, I already have people that signed up to be notified when Accountability Pledge launches. So I do feel accountable to them (look at that!) to actually get this built and out there. It’s also reassuring that I’m building a product that at least some people are interested in.

In addition to the people that have signed up for Accountability Pledge, I’ve noticed a recent uptick in people looking for accountability tools. The Maker Report identified productivity as the number one challenge that makers face. I think many of us are grappling with this issue because we’re working alone and have little to no accountability outside of ourselves. We are naturally more productive when we’re held accountable. If you have a boss telling you to complete a task by the end of the week, you can bet that it’ll get done. It’s much more difficult to stay productive when you’re the one setting the deadlines for yourself. Seeing how myself and others are struggling with this, I do think there’s a problem here worth investigating and trying to solve.

Ultimately, I need to keep in mind that even if I launch this and it doesn’t gain much traction, I’ll still learn a ton. Plus I’ll have a new experience under my belt that I can use for the next product and the next one and on and on.

So yes, Accountability Pledge is coming, by the end of June. If it helps even one person accomplish a goal that they’ve been having trouble seeing through, then I’ll consider it a success. And ultimately, that’s what matters at the end of the day. Not money, but helping people. I think the only products worth building are the ones that help people.