Writing in the Open

I’m working on a big update to Starting & Sustaining to add in my experience gained running Sifter through my health problems. I also have some lessons learned through selling it. What started out as a whimsical plan to fill in some gaps and expand the book has turned into a significant undertaking that will double the length of the original book.

That increase in scope has motivated me to make sure I give it the attention it deserves. It’s already expanded into a regular podcast interviewing other founders with a focus on their trials and tribulations rather than the good times. I’ve also built a dedicated site for the book and podcast. And of course, there’s a Twitter account.

In addition to making the book a bit longer, I’m also writing it in the open, and it will ultimately be free to read online. Writing it in the open is scary from the standpoint of putting a raw and unfinished product out there, but it just feels like the right thing to do.

I do plan on offering the other formats and additional resources as paid options, but the content itself will all be available for anyone to read online regardless of their ability to pay for it. For those other formats and resources, I’ll be taking a page from Avdi and offering a “Pay by Postcard” option for anyone whose situation makes the cost too expensive. For anybody where the cost is prohibitive for any reason, send a postcard with your email address, and I’ll email you a copy of the other resources.

It’s been a long four years dealing with my leg, and I’m only just starting to consistently be back on my feet–both literally and figuratively. I’ve been able to be active, but the harder I push myself, the more frequently I’m sidelined for a bit. Hopefully, the worst of it is behind me. Through all of the struggle, though, it’s lit a fire to find ways to help lift others up. Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to help other amputees directly, but in the meantime, I hope this book can help some group of folks plan for their own foray into web applications. It’s a start anyways.

My knowledge isn’t particularly unique, but in hindsight, there are countless things that I wish I could go back in time and tell myself. I was able to create Sifter in large part due to others that shared their work, so I’d like to do my part as well and share what I’ve learned to make the journey easier for others. It’s going to take some time, but I’m going to strive to make it well worth the wait.