How I stopped procrastinating, learned to code, and launched my first product

Lynne Tye on September 25, 2017

I've been reading about inspiring founder stories for years, wondering how people did it. I'd read posts on Hacker News, Indie Hackers, and oth... [Read Full]
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This is such a motivating story, Lynne. I definitely see a lot of familiarity in my journey of starting Key Values is a great approach to the issue, and it's an amazing name, btw.


Thanks Ben! I'm catching up on all of the great content you've put out there and am excited to learn more about your story as well. I'm glad that I discovered DEV and look forward to being a part of this community as it grows :)


Awesome. I'll probably reach out tomorrow with some more questions about k/v, hope you don't mind. 😁

I definitely don't mind, especially because I miiiiight have already beaten you to it πŸ˜‚


One of the best stories I've read today! Way to go Lynne :)


Thanks Humza! Even if you only read two, I'll take it! haha ;)


Thanks for sharing your experiences! As I can totally relate to being bad at idea generation, this post is really inspiring to start writing down ideas regularly.

I think the strategy of doing multiple mini launches is great, especially because it would freak me out if the same happened to me like it happened to Pieter Levels with hoodmaps :D

I wish you all the best with Key Values and hope you keep us posted!


Andreas, thank you so much. Re: idea generation, I'm not sure why I'm so bad at it! Some of my friends happen to be "idea people" and spit out ideas constantly. While they're not always engineering related, it's helpful to surround yourself with people who are strong in the areas you are weak. Write all of them down and feel free to share and discuss them with the community!

They're almost certainly not going to be genius, never-before-done ideas so it really only helps to dissect them out in the open :)

Thanks for your support and kind words! Fingers crossed I'll have more to share in the coming weeks/months πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


It's just great to see that there are more people that can't come up with new ideas instantly πŸ˜€ - we are not alone! πŸ™ƒ

Yeah I guess the ideas will be quite bad, but that doesn't matter, I think by just getting the habit of coming up with at least something, we could get more open and mindful for things that may be right before our noses. It's the same with the phrase "scratch your own itch" - yeah I would like to, but apparently there is no itch - not complaining though, I started to write to get a better view on things, which helped a bit.

I hope we will read more of you, have a nice day/evening!


Even in a crowded market, I still couldn't find an engineering team that shared my values.

This is the take-away line for me. A classic supply/demand curve often fails to encapsulate value, especially against direct alternatives.

Inspiring story, best wishes!


I'm so glad that this resonated w/ you! I think this was one of the biggest turning points for me.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Kyle!


I kind of think of the phrase "crowded market" as a bit of a myth. Maybe it's something to take into account, but a market full of undifferentiated competition hardly seems like a bad place to try and step into.


"I didn't even know if anyone wanted what I was making!" Pretty brave! Sometimes you just have to do something in order to prove that you can. To me, that was the valuable lesson here.


Absolutely. While I do consider myself to be a great student and am very coachable, there are a lot of things I have to do and learn for myself. There are mistakes I almost want to make myself, too. Really though, it's me just proving to myself that I can do it. It's great when you have people who believe in you, but it's more important that you believe in yourself. Wow, that sounds incredibly cheesy and kind of stupid, but I really mean it hahaha


Regarding the comment about not knowing if there was a need for what you were me was irrelevant (for you). To me, what you learned in this process was a hedge against this very issue because you now possess the skills to develop a future minimum viable product for any idea you would like to turn into a reality. MVPs are a great way to test the murky waters of acceptance while (possibly) gaining the traction necessary to attract investors. Now, you can quickly build, test, and (if necessary) discard ideas before you invest time and money into a project that may not have legs. I personally have applied this same principle to writing and designing table-top games. I prototype quickly (with extremely low fidelity). I get people to test/read my ideas and where I go from there depends on the reaction I get. This allows me a chance to pull the plug on my "darlings" or shelf them until I can work out the kinks.


Thanks for sharing your experience and having so many awesome references! The idea of being an entrepreneur has been in the back of my mind for a while and this story has inspired me a bit to look even more into it.

Hope Key Values grows and I'm looking forward to reading more posts from you.


It's a little seed that you planted back there a long time ago, right? Me too. Took me a while to grow it up, but I'm glad I did. Hope you do too :)

Thanks for reading and am glad the references are useful!!!


Any tips on how to get some big sites to feature your stuff?


I'm not exactly sure what you mean by that?

For example, I wrote this article (my first about Key Values!) and then submitted here in I woke up this morning to a text my friend sent me saying that it was on the front page of Hacker News!

Or did you mean something else?


okay, I thought you maybe spoke personally with some Journalist or something

I did. He reached out to me over Twitter after seeing Key Values on Hacker News.

Ah okay. HN is always a bit like playing the lottery he he.

I'd say it's like Settlers of Catan. There's both luck and strategy! haha

This article had some luck for sure. I actually posted it on HN yesterday, but it died quickly. But today, for whatever reason, it got traction and did really well!

In terms of strategy, I'm currently thinking of topics and articles that would appeal to the HN community. I'm tailoring pieces for that audience. Topics like "company culture" or "how people find jobs" will almost certainly be torn apart (or invisible) on HN.

However, a discussion on the metrics I've collect (what values do HN readers select on Key Values the most, are there trends based on the user's city and country?) might do better.

If you know your audience, you should tailor your content/marketing to them rather than the other way around. It's not a guarantee, but it will certainly increase your chances of doing well.

This makes me want to write a bit on this subject, @kayis , though I need to gather my thoughts. I will say that Settlers of Catan is much more strategy than luck though!

Settlers and Catan and Hacker News are both more strategy than luck if you ask me!

That's what I always want to believe.

But most startup things feel like pure luck to me.

I want to do my own but it feels like a black box and I fear it.

I need to write a post on this subject. I don't think typical advice on this subject speaks practically to developers. πŸ˜‹


Thanks for reminding us to just get something out there and get feedback, even when it'd be easier and less scary to just not share it. I imagine the fear of rejection could take over pretty easily, especially when sharing on huge sites that suddenly put a spotlight on your creation!

Congrats and good luck!


I still get scared putting myself out there, but I've somehow gotten over that fear in a big way over the last few weeks. Just looking back, it seems like anything I've ever been proud of doing was really scary in the process. I'm pretty comfortable being vulnerable w/ my friends and families, I'm getting in the habit of expanding that "circle" to the include everyone on the internet?!! πŸ˜‚ Anyway, thank you for your support! Support from those few strangers is 99% of the reason why I'm becoming less afraid.


This post is so inspiring, Lynne! Thanks for sharing your awesome experience with so much humor, humility, and courage!


Thanks Adam!!! You're the only person to comment on my humor which means you get me 😊 I'm laughing mid-chew right now because so I'm actually eating a Lean Cuisine right now. How embarrassing.

Ps. I see that you're a lawyer/developer?! What a rare combo –– kudos!


Haha, it's good to know you're keepin' it real after becoming a fancy founder. ☺️ Seriously, though, I really do appreciate that you can look at the whole process, hard as it was, with some levity. Also, I really identified with the line about a "pity party mixed with mania!"

It's true, I am a lawyer and developer. I'd like to find a way to leverage the combination, but haven't really figured it out yet.

What about coding Etherium Contracts or such? That seems to be where law and code are heavily overlapping...


Hi Lynne, great to read your story. I checked out KeyValues couple of days back on producthunt, was impressed with the way you have focused on one thing and have done it really well.


Thanks Pradeep! How did you find it on Product Hunt exactly? I'm admittedly still pretty unfamiliar with PH. I'd actually love a quick run down on how you personally use/browse products there. I was under the impression that most people just scan the front page.


I don't exactly remember but I keep looking for products that help developers find the right job. I work in similar domain for remotework. Would love to collaborate with you.


This is a really good story! And it turns out that Key Values is a really good site. It makes looking for a company exciting.


That's the best thing you could have told me!!! Looking for a new job/team is such a dreadful process when it should be something to look forward to. Key Values was worth building if it makes the job search more exciting for just one person. Thank you.


I totally get inspired with your spirit! Well done Lynne! That's very helpful for me to get back on track crafting a product. Hopefully one day I can launch my product just like yours. :D


You definitely can if that's what you want! I'm no expert, but if there's anything I can share from my experience to help you with your next launch, ask away!


Thanks and thanks –– I'll need some luck for sure ;)


Congratulations, Lynne! Your story is very inspiring and I hope it will serve as an example for many, many people! What worked the best for me as I started to realize that I have a problem with procrastination was a Kanban Board, precisely this one: It made things relatively easy, because it allowed me to list and schedule my tasks and actually focus on fulfilling them. I still use it today and recommend to anyone that has the same problem as me.
Thank you again for your honesty, Lynne, and wish you all the best with your website!


So many people use Kanban boards! I haven't found one method that always works for me –– it really depends on the type of work I'm doing, how much there is, and how excited I am about doing it haha. Will definitely check out though. Thanks :D


I love Key Values just as much as I love this article! Thanks for inspiring me to get back on the horse, Lynne :)


Giddy up!!!

(And thank you –– you have no idea how happy it makes me to hear that people love Key Values. I do too, but I'm a little biased πŸ˜‰)


Yesss love the minimalist mentality of saving money!


Lynne this is a great read. You are inspirational, probably you can make every lurker(like myself) not be one ;). Good luck with all your projects.


Well, you've already commented on a post, which is more than I had ever done 1 year ago today! Lurker no more.


One of the top inspiring post I have read till now. Awesome and thank you.


Aww shucks! 😊 Thank you and good luck with whatever you're jumping into next!


Awesome Story .. one of the best i read in weeks
Thank you for introducing me to Indie Hackers
wish you the best of luck


That's so kind of you to say! Thank you.

I look forward to seeing you around both here in DEV and on IH! πŸ‘‹


Congrats and best wishes on your journey, and thanks for sharing the motivational story with us.

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