Bearicorn Notes

Sentimental notes

As the saying goes, all overnight success takes about 10 years.

Our business plan is not fail on expecting to be an overnight success. We play long-term game and our timeline to be profitable is five years. Yes. That's something realistic.

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You would not dig a well with a broom ๐Ÿงน, right? Our philosophy is quite counter-intuitive. We argue that creating workflow-focused solution isn't solution in every single use case.

We have an app for everything those days.

App for expenses tracking. App for to-dos. App for period tracking. App for shopping list.

Yet, it still feels nice to get rid of all and track everything in your Notes and Calendar. It's the peace created from minimalism.

That's why Bearicorn is rather good-enough tool, than a solution-focused one.

Good-enough for sharing shopping list with your wife. Good-enough for notes taking. Good-enough for sharing tasks with your coworkers. Good-enough for as a Scram and Kanban board.

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Even I'm mildly irritated by developers advocating for strong typing with an add functions, I decided migrate repository to Typescript. The reason is quite simple, opportunity to learn something new and possibility anytime just remove types easily (compared to React eg).

Gradual improvement

Backend part was quite straightforward, as I used any type for basically everything. Obviously, the point of the whole thing is missed, but I like to get things done quickly and gradually iterate and improve them slowly rather than spending several weeks.

Tools must bring happiness

Frontend part was a bit harder, as I had to align also Webpack configurations, Eslint plugins and Babel correctly.

Every time I touch Webpack configuration a unicorn dies somewhere. It's a terrible tool and I pray every time I setup new project there will be better tool soon. I'm not aware of a person who enjoys it, what a tragedy when tool doesn't bring happiness.

Superset is the best feature

The minimal process of migrating JS to TS is changing the file extension. This is probably the best feature ever. It's truly painless to start while having the compatibility.

Part of Bearicorn repository stylesheets was written in SASS and another one in LESS from legacy reasons. I decided migrate everything to LESS from the same reason โ€” LESS is CSS superset and backward compatibility. This makes life easier.

Second reason is having option to load Less files directly from browser without pain of having preprocessor installed locally. Obviously this isn't production perfect, but those 100ms in this prototyping stage doesn't play any role and I'm not convinced that it even matters for 99% use-cases. I build websites since my 13teen and from hundreds of projects maybe 3-4 really needed minified CSS.

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โ€” Samuel

People dream.

I'm aware of my limits and the world around, so I will try to set my goal lower than usual โ€” to be able to touch it once.

Screenshot 2021-01-11 at 00.36.38.png

Initial financing

I currently posses 57,600 euro reserved for this project only. Obviously, it's not a random amount. It represents exactly 1,600 euro per month for three years straight. I'm currently in a year contract for 2021, therefore money are sufficient until 2025.

This money are enough only for one person, which could be quite problematic. I have no problem working alone, but making business and design decisions alone is a clear mistake.

I'll have to resolve this in the future somehow.

Sustainability

To make this project self-sustainable and survivable, I need at least 10,000 euro profit a month from 2025. To be able pay a great UX designer and an amazing full-stack developer, I need another 10,000 euro.

20,000 euro doesn't sound too hard on internet.

But maybe I'm wrong.

With focus on B2B it requires around 200 clients paying 100 euro a month, which is price of a standard licence for similar products.

Costs

As the whole product is designed to be installed on clients' server, I don't need to count any real infrastructure on Bearicorn side, except some testing environments. This doesn't represent any real cost. Currently I need 40 euro for Digital Ocean servers.

While developing my own product, I don't need to encounter any licences (except a few software licences like Webstorm, Postico, fonts..). This is also basically nothing.

Let's not forget about Github, AWS, Cloudflare, which is around 100 euro.

Design

This part is crucial.

Bearicorn must have a world-class UX, because it matters a lot. A great result is also never matter of a first try, so it will require several iterations. Which sounds expensive. If a designer shall need 6 months for the whole thing, plus we need at least two iterations, we are talking about another 15,000 euro (with minimal salary).

Probably the best option is to find person (with great design skills) willing to invest some time into startup for shares. It doesn't sound impossible, but choosing the right person is important.

Tech stack

Technology is only way how to make something happen. I'm a web developer since 2005. Javascript on front-end and Nodejs on back-end is my only option.

I'm most comfortable with Mongo database, but it would be good to use something more people are familiar with. Plus it's always a good idea to learn some new technology, therefore I'd like to store data in Postrgres.

My knowledge of SQL is poor, but even I screw something up, it's quite easy to fix it even years after. Plus โ€” Postgres will be much reasonable solution, if Bearicorn shall be installed on unknown environments.

Docker is the only solution I can see right now, so the whole installation on client side should be one Dockerfile. Keep it simple.

React is now the most used front-end library. Using it is very practical, but I'm extremely sure I'll have to refactor it once to another library. Given React's opinionated structure โ€” I have goosebumps already. So or so, this isn't problem for another ten years, so it makes no sense to worry about it.

Why this blog

It's good to write down goals publicly, plus link Bearicorn to some platform, where I'm able to post updates, because it doesn't necessary will be transparent from the website.

The repository must stay private until at least some reasonable progress is made. The current state isn't very public and contains sensitive credentials and is not tested, nor documented well.

Also the questions is, if Bearicorn will be ever public.

Svbtle provides an ideal platform for product notes. Being able to connect it with my own domain also isn't a disadvantage.

What's next in January

  • To write down a product release timeline
  • To think about product pricing and value it needs to bring for that
  • To draft content of alpha, beta and v1 version
  • To pitch Bearicorn under one minutes at least to myself

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