Justin Duke

Update: January 2017

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  • Launched Barback 4. It was dope and there are no crashes and customer feedback seems to be super positive. (This is probably the best I’ve felt about launching an app, ever.)
  • Got some positive write-ups on Floradora, which made all of the cold-calling worth it! It made a nice first entry into the actual world of manual marketing.
  • Unicode Fractions is ranked first in Google’s search rankings for “unicode fractions”, which is a pointless victory (it’s only receiving like twenty hits a day, so a nigh-meaningless amount of traffic) but a victory nonetheless!


  • Getting Barback across the finish line was exhausting. Rewriting an app on top of consulting + 9-5 work is a lot of development, and it drained me.
  • Getting Barback across the finish line was uh, a net negative. Sales are flat!

Floating sucks

It’s often very hard to tell if I’m spending my time well (where I’m defining well as the correct allocation in order to maximize profits).

I’m really happy with what I’ve built over the past few months but it’s hard to disambiguate the “ah, this was fun to build” feeling from the “ah, this was the correct thing to build” feeling.

I can tell I overindulge my code all of the things instinct. It’s easy to say that’s fine since I’m doing this for fun, but I am trying to grow this as a business and sometimes that means eating your vegetables. Speaking of which:

Time to eat my vegetables

In February, I’m going to work on a bunch of boring (to me, at least) but important stuff, specifically on the non-dev side. This is also probably a good move because this past month exhausted me in terms of software and it’ll be nice to do stuff that isn’t straight up coding.

  • Get Heroku costs down to $50/mo – migrate everything except the actual servers to AWS now that I have some free credits. (Shouts to FBStart.)
  • Lots of manual marketing work for marketing Barback. I’m setting the deliverable down to two positive writeups.
  • SEO juice and such to get Barback up to 5k monthly. (Small steps, I know.)
  • iOS Numbers (just so I launch something, with a goal of getting this rated super highly as well)
  • Marketing Spoonbill, with a goal of 200 active users (currently in the ~100 range).
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