5: The 30-Day Deadline of Failure and Follow-Through

Mark Thompson gave himself a tough 30-day deadline to build and launch the first version of his app, TotallyStrong.me. Setting a goal gave him tremendous motivation, but also served him with a strong dose of feeling failure. Find out how Mark finally followed through and shipped, despite a self-imposed timeline that both motivated and defeated.

Notes

  • Mark Thompson gave himself a 30 day deadline to plan, learn, and build a mobile app using a brand new technology called Flutter.
  • Mark had a newborn in the family, was transitioning jobs, and had previously made a promise to his family to not work for a while after New Year's Day set in. 
  • Mark was trying to be "faithful to the follow-through" a phrase he often gives his students.
  • TotallyStrong was an app that had been "in the works" for the past 10 years.
  • Mark chose the 30-day deadline to prevent himself from over-engineering the TotallyStrong solution.
  • Mark used Twitter as his mouthpiece for talking about the ups and downs of the project and to create a sense of "social accountability" for himself.
  • Trying to work with an alpha level codebase, not knowing how the app submission process worked, and being cramped with family commitments and exhaustion, Mark hit a wall and felt defeated. He did follow through, however.
  • Mark had a voice in the back of his head weighing on him with the words, "here you go, following the same pattern of not completing."
  • In the end, Mark did ship. He kept his family commitment and vacation. He didn't hit the deadline, but the product did launch two weeks later, which was the ultimate goal, anyways.

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