Pizza on a beach
Pizza on Brighton/Hove beach. Photo unrelated.

How building a new project saved my main business

About a month ago I started to rewrite of rotaplanner.app, a spin off project from working on my main thing which is Absentia.

Absentia, the annual leave management software is what makes me money and what I should be focused on growing. I thought that working on the rota planner would be a distraction, just an excuse to build a new project. Write more code instead of working on marketing and SEO.

Working on Absentia I was mostly stuck in a cycle of responding to queries an implementing the odd feature that people would ask for. All useful things to do but is that all I should have been doing?

I started rebuilding the rota planner tool and had to go back to basics, think about what the customer really wanted and how I could deliver the most value to them. When updating the landing page I was also thinking about how I could best target potential customers that would benefit from my product.

This is really hard work, but it's the most important things to focus on for your business. To keep delivering as much value as you can on the very basics of what your product provides. This is what I forgotten with Absentia. I was too in the weeds to think about the basics.

The rewrite ended up being a success and a returned back to working on Absentia with a whole new fresh outlook. An updated perspective; I should be focusing on the true core value of Absentia which is being able to book and view absences extremely easily.

I got back to the good old foundations watching recordings, watching user recordings, walking through the product as if I was a new user and analyzing where the tool could be better. I feel like I’m back on track now, in the end the rota project wasn’t such a bad distraction.