Josh Schertz

12 Startups in 12 Months

As of November 21, 2018 I have started a personal challenge of building 12 startups in 12 months. The rules are simple: spend a solid month building and marketing each startup, trying to get paying users to cover operating costs. Once the month is over, determine if the project should be shuttered, left to simmer, or expanded on. Repeat.

I was inspired to take on this challenge by the very successful solo entrepreneur Pieter Levels, the maker of Nomad List, Remote OK, and recently, Hoodmaps. Five years ago, Pieter challenged himself to launching 12 startups in 12 months, through which he created Nomad List and Remote OK. At the time, I was first learning how to program and was vastly under skilled. However, that challenge has been at the back of my mind, and only recently did I realize that I could finally do this myself.

Why?

There are a few key reasons why I'm starting this challenge.

Perfect is the enemy of good

First and foremost, I want to prove to myself that I can consistently turn an idea into a working prototype in a week or two. Being 70% engineer, it is very fun and rewarding to make things complicated and solve for every edge case. The problem with that is nothing ever gets finished. Not this time! Things will be quick, simple, and good enough.

Today is better than tomorrow

Second, I want to obliterate the talk of things taking lots of time and planning to do. This isn't NASA with special working groups to discuss how to plan a framework for structuring this. I want and am craving a very rapid development process. The goal is to launch the first MVP in a week, then spend time iterating and getting user feedback.

Third, I want practice in marketing these startups and getting user feedback. Marketing and sales will push me out of my comfort zone. No creeping around the background. I will be front and center in pushing these applications.

Lastly I want to obliterate the talk of not having time to do something. There is always time for doing the things you want to do. The plan is to work on this challenge while continuing my Masters degree, traveling, and freelance consulting work.

Startups

As Pieter mentioned, some may call foul at my terminology of calling my launched apps startups. True my startups won't employ hundreds of people or make millions of dollars a year, but they will deliver value while trying to cover operating expenses. In my book, that would be called a business and startup. If you don't agree, you are welcome to take a shot at it yourself.

Do I expect I'll actually launch all 12 startups? No, I think I'll get half a dozen or so launched before focusing full time on one, or jumping to a new endeavor. But I will be happy to be proven wrong and have 12 launched startups come Thanksgiving 2019.

My Progress

I'll be updating my progress here with links, pictures and descriptions of what I launch.

  1. The Contact Guru
  2. The Contact Guru contact page for Elon Musk

    The Contact Guru is your smart and secure contact manager, letting you track dozens of fields for each person.


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