My 2021 Year Recap
A year of risks, chaos & growth
Let's travel to 2020 first
Corona was (and still is) limiting our lives, we had lockdowns and we were having school digitally at home. I had no focus at colleges, no rhythm in my daily life anymore. I had no interest in embedded systems, Java, Firebird SQL, Assembly and networking. I had found my interest in web development: in Laravel, PHP, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Livewire, Vue & Alpine...
I pitched the idea of dropping out to my parents, to start something for myself. My own business. At first they were a bit skeptical, a bachelors degree would significantly improve my salary and position in the job market.
After a while, my mom became convinced and was supportive, my dad however was still incredibly skeptical. When I came up with the name Flowframe I decided to pull the trigger and drop out. I made an appointment at Chamber of Commerce and officially started my own company.
2021 is where stuff gets real
Ok. And now? How do I make money? I honestly had no idea where to start, I hoped people would magically visit my site and contact me but that didn't happen. I had to connect with people, create new friendships, explore different communities.
Connecting with people is what made me and Flowframe grow, I stepped out of my comfort zone and said yes to things I'd usually say no to. Perhaps sometimes a little too much, but you'll learn from those mistakes.
Side projects, side projects, side projects
Being a programmer isn't just a profession, it's also a hobby. I like to explore new tech, patterns and techniques. Creating a SaaS in 2021 was definitely a todo list thing that came true.
I decided to dip my toes into the waters of selling digital products by creating Razor UI. Razor UI should've been a Blade library for Laravel initially - hence the name: Razor (Blade) 😉 - however, it was too much work a first. I would've needed to design all components, think of a nice API to interact with, and document all of this.
The initial launch were just Tailwind CSS HTML components and later on we introduced a Blade library. I say we because the TALL Stack guru @danjharrin himself hopped on the project and made sure the components were well documented and easy to integrate for other Laravel developers.
One thing I always disliked is managing open graph images, or better known as "link previews". I'd have a Figma project with different variants and versions, for every new blog post, project or page I'd have to fill in the template, download the image and upload it to the website. Now imagine if you want to tweak the design a little, perhaps update the color? Have fun replacing all those images...
That's were Previewify comes into play. Previewify is my first SaaS which automagically creates those images for your links. With a rich selection of templates and an easy to use editor you can automate all those images. You don't have to be a designer and/or a senior level developer. You can choose to integrate it via meta tags or a more advanced API.
I wanted to manage everything from one platform and thought it was a great idea if others could use it as well. It's a win-win situation right?
I want to thank all my friends and followers for making 2021 a blast, even when COVID made our lives more restricted and difficult. Without all the feedback, support and opportunities I wouldn't have made it past this difficult year. I'm hoping that 2022 will be a better year for everyone.
Cheers, and a happy 2022! 🎉