Hi! I’m Brad Simantel, and for the past six weeks or so, I’ve been working on a new product called Teaminal.
I always hate when companies retcon their history to act as if the idea leapt from their head fully formed like Athena, so I wanted to write up the real story of how Teaminal came to be.
Back in October, I was kicking around the idea of building some sort of remote team social app. I was imagining something like Zoom (or really Jitsi, since it would be web-based) plus Jackbox, where you could drop into a room with friends or coworkers and play games together. I was really interested in playing with WebRTC-based video chat, and quickly got that working, but then I realized that building one compelling game, let alone several, was going to be really hard.
I started thinking about what else I could do with the code I had already written. I thought maybe I could reuse the video chat part of that project, but instead of combining it with a collection of games, I could combine it with an agile retro tool like the one I used at my day job, Retrium. Or I could build a little real-time pointing poker app, and use it for that! Maybe both!
Then… I kind of lost interest in the idea. I’d been working on some permutation of the same thing for a couple months at that point, with basically nothing to show for it, so I shelved the project.
Teaminal on Rails
In mid-December, a couple posts on Hacker News caught my interest. One was about the release of Rails 7, the other was from a Node developer about their experience trying Rails. Together, they got me interested in building something with Rails.
I’d dabbled in Rails development at past jobs, but it was always maintaining a crufty legacy app, so I never really gave Rails a fair shake for any greenfield projects. To pick up Rails 7, I started by running through the Getting Started with Rails guide, then I decided to port the agile retro/pointing idea over to Rails, which went super quick!
As you may have noticed, up until this point I had basically been noodling with interesting technologies with learning as the primary goal and shipping a product as a nice-to-have.
Going into the new year and doing some reflecting, I’ve decided to swap those and really focus on shipping something small, talking to potential users, and iterating towards creating a real business.
My 2022 resolutions, as they pertain to Teaminal, are:
- Stop being afraid to share what I’m working on, even if it’s not perfect.
- Don’t build new features until someone asks for them.
- Get to $10k MRR by the end of the year.
I’ve made lots of mistakes in the past where I built in isolation and didn’t put myself out there because I was afraid. That’s the biggest thing I want to get over this year by building in public, and the revenue goal will hopefully follow.
We’ll see how it goes!
Update: The January 2022 Update is the next post in this series.