New Years Resolutions: SaaS Mastery

Every year, a large chunk of the people who set resolutions are destined for failure. Complete and utter failure. While we can all speculate the reasons, more often than not, it comes down to a combination of procrastination, unactionable goals and lack of a clear game plan. Seriously.

If you plan on making goals this year, sit down for a moment and consider doing the following:

  • Write down each goal.
  • For each goal write:
    • Why you feel it should be a goal.
    • What you hope to accomplish by achieving that goal.
    • How you plan to achieve the goal.
  • Review each goal to see how achievable or actionable the goal is.
    For example, “Lose weight” is a decent goal, but “Lose 25lbs by March 1st” is far better. It sets a specific goal and a timeframe for reaching it.

Some things to consider:

  • Don’t be scared to put lofty goals. Just try not to make them the majority.
  • They don’t all have to be serious. Just try to ensure they are deeply personal to you. Otherwise you are less likely to achieve them.
    • For example, a good friend of mine put “Drive a Tesla” for one of his. Sounds pretty mundane, but as a lover of all things tech, it will bring him a great deal of joy and happiness. Not to mention it will probably lead to a future goal of “Own a Tesla by 201X”.

The whole idea of the exercise is to do more than state your goals, but instead create a clear list of achieveable goals with an real action plan to achieve them.

Another fun activity is to put these in a place where your friends can see them and then hold you accountable for them.

Or better yet, you can hold yourself accountable…

###Last Year’s Goals In Review

Last year was my first year of really setting any formal goals. I was a bit agressive, but as the post describes, I felt it was deeply necessary. Below is the list of goals with my review of how successful I was. Enjoy.

  • Restore the web assets I lost to a hacker.
    • Success. Not only have all the sites been restored, but I have also decided to shutter my consulting company, Epoxy Labs, Inc., and replace it with a new company focused on deliverying SaaS solutions Alchemy Codeworks.
  • Restore my portfolio.
    • Sort-of Successful. Available free time was a challenge, so nothing has been shipped yet. However, I remain optimistic that this will be resolved towards the end of this month. I’d rather be a month late, than not at all.
  • Introduce two simple SaaS applications.
    • Unsuccessful. As much as i wish I could report otherwise, I was unable to acheive this goal. Progress is being made, just at a much slower pace than expected. Still focused on delivering these through platforms such as Shopify and Envato.
  • Complete one 30x500 style project.
    • Unsuccessful. I knew this was lofty to begin with, but is still a good goal and will carry forward to 2014.
  • Get my name back out into the wild.
    • Unsuccessful. This is still a goal and will carry forward to 2014.

When I wrote these goals, it was already clear that I had deviated away from what I truly enjoyed doing. So even though I wasn’t able to make as much progress as I had hoped, the little I did make had a profound impact on my mood and general well-being. Also, due to a serious health concern, I also changed my role at my day job. My current position as a Solutions Architect, not only lets me do what I truly love, but honestly sets my mind free and brings me tremendous amounts of joy. It shouldn’t surprise you to know how much mood plays a role in your success towards anything.

###This Years Goals

  • Carry overs from last year:
    • Introduce two simple SaaS applications. These should be simple and be build on an existing platform that handles things such as billing and dsitribution. Two platforms from last year still stand out to me: Shopify and Envato.
    • Complete one 30x500 style project.
      This one is the big one. The goal is to make my own product that I own and run. I’ve already defined it and am taking steps to build it. The goal is to reach minimum viable product by the end of January, but due to circumstances, this could slip to March. Any later than that and you can all throw a slushy at me.
  • New goals for this year:
    • Give back to at least one OSS project
      I’ve been benefitting from OSS for years and it’s honestly time to give back. I will select from one of the following projects: * Laravel PHP Framework
      • Ghost Blogging Platform
      • Ubuntu Linux
    • Attend Google I/O as a developer
      I’ve been trying to go to I/O for years. I am a Google fan-boy before Apple and feel like attending this event will bring me a great deal of happiness, but also help inspire some of my other goals.
    • Teach my son to swim.
      Last summer I didn’t take the opportunity and deeply regret it. He is definitely ready, so this spring/summer this is happening.

As usual, I will continue to finese these throughout the year and am open to suggestions. I wish you all luck with your goals. 2014 is going to be a truly great year. Make it YOUR year.

Curtis Rissi

Solutions Architect and Full Stack Engineer by day and mad scientist by night. I specialize in making the impossible possible through code and technology. I also make some crazy good Korean BBQ. You know you want to try it.

Disclaimer: I work for AWS, but unless otherwise stated, the words and thoughts expressed in this blog are my own.

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