Jan 2021 Retrospective

Summary

Thought of a potential business create and its target market.

Highlights

  • Purchased a domain; mudmap.io
  • Created the proof of concept backend code
  • Researched the domain for market fit, competition and general sense of whether its viable

Goal Performance

Given this is my first retro, no goals were set last month. So I will talk to the product and highlights above.

Finding a product to create

Late last year, I discovered a niche in something I have found annoying in the past; managing multiple pfSense firewalls. This usually means logging in to each device one at a time using either SSH or a VPN. Its laborious and I hated it.

Then I found a few custom API’s that interface with pfSense. This meant I could now make remote calls to each device and script my tasks. Anything that can be scripted can also be turned into a web application, and thus the idea of mudmap was born.

Before I started writing any code, I did some research to see if the idea was viable, or needed. I must admit it did take me too long to find one of the competitors in this space. Originally, mudmap was going to be called pfmon but pfmonitor already exists. The naming similarities are just too close for me to be comfortable with, even though I still really like the name.

I asked questions on Reddit, searched pfSense’s own forums and even poked around on Twitter.

A crude summary from a Reddit post:

I can’t upvote this enough. I love pfSense and consider it top of the stack, but there are so many options who offer central management and that makes it tough to recommend it to customers.

It’s pretty much this mentality that makes me feel this product is viable. Time will tell

Recommendations

If you live in Australia, or want to travel to Australia checkout Newcastle. I used to live there but moved away to take a job and I miss it. I was there over Australia Day and its just magical. For a West Australian to say that an east coast beach is brilliant is a big deal; west coast beaches are on a whole unequivocally better.

Wrap up

What can I do better?

  • Catalogue my research, particularly product market and feasibility information into notion for future reference

What have I done well?

  • Started on the path from worker to creator. I follow dvassallo’s school of thought here; optimize life over money.

Next months goals

  • Add a blog to mudmap
  • Complete PoC of mudmap backend; API install, account creation, device registration, view properties
  • Gain 5 twitter followers