I've always enjoyed launching small product hacks. Building something from scratch gives a great rush. Hacking together API's, backend code, new functions and responsive layouts. A hackers mentality sets aside any sensible doubts which could lead to the trap of overthinking, while also challenging the brain to kick into a creative thinking and problem solving mode . Some of these hacks became timeless successes, others vanish into a folder on my PC.
Below a few recent projects I launched:
- With the power of the Google Analytics's Real Time Reporting API I created a beautiful search activity visualization. A remake of Google's own live search presentation, but made for any site running Google Analytics. It's listed in the Google Analytics app gallery.
- Producthunt.com leaderboard, no API so I'm crawling the site daily. Setup to get insights into whats going on in the Valley. It provides an overall overview of the activity on Producthunt, with a focus on the hunters as well as the products. I also found out I got so much data points, I can easily flag dubious voting going on. Upvote.
- I really enjoy YouTube. But it seems they go out of their way to make it difficult to just continuously play a user channel's as one big playlist. Point in case, Majestic Casual, a video channel with over 1.7M followers, which serves a great selection of music to play in the background. So I created the unofficial majesticcasual.tv, which does what I want and looks nice too.
- Marc Andreessen tweet essays fixes the readability of the thoughts of well-known investor Marc Andreessen which are spread out over multiple tweets on Twitter. @pmarca is known to tweet up to a dozen tweets - a tweetstorm -, but Twitter has no good way to group and read them. I even found they roll up his intermediate tweets in the stream. The project retrieved very positive high profile attention on ProductHunt and on Twitter. Really cool to see the people I follow to also mention this project on Twitter.
- Solved a annoying issue where the native filters on iPhone photos can't be accessed on a Windows computer because the filter is only part of the meta data. The previous solution was to email myself the photo. A better solution is this crazy hack that uses the Dropbox API. I auto sync with Dropbox and this way I just select which photos I want to save back into Dropbox with the filter baked in them. Magic!
- And my latest hack is Citytrip which collects recommendations from Airbnb hosts and lists them on a map. Great for discovering local places to eat and drink. More details on the Producthunt listing.
All of these projects scratch a personal itch, are developed in a handful of hours, and more important were fun to make and able to capture some of the web's attention.