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Three Months After Amazon: My Journey, Lessons, and a Scorecard
An update on my three month journey.
(Photo : Sunrise at the Ganga river in Varanasi, India)
Three months ago, I quit my job at Amazon in February 2023 and wrote a LinkedIn post about it. Below is a three-month update on my journey after leaving Amazon, my learnings, and a scorecard.
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My journey so far
In the first month, I took it easy. This break helped me decide on my next steps, leading me to make a couple of decisions:
I decided to try multiple ideas, as the probability of a single idea working out is minuscule. Pursuing more ideas will maximize my chances and learnings.
I chose to work independently. While collaboration is good, it slows me down. At this stage of my journey, I am most productive working solo.
My decisions were reinforced after I got introduced to the SmallBets community where I met multiple builders trying out many small ideas to learns what works and not.
I began shortlisting my long list of app ideas that fit my criteria. In the process, I started using ChatGPT to assist me. Amazed by its capabilities, I decided to work on PlaylistGeniusAI.com and ReviewHeroAI.com. Fast forward four weeks, these apps are being used by thousands of users and I made my first dollar on the Internet independently.
During this time, I encountered a few surprises and some expected outcomes.
Things that surprised me
I still don't have all the time in the world
I assumed my full-time job was consuming all my time and that after quitting, I would have unlimited time to work on all my ideas. I was wrong. I still had limited time and had to manage daily chores (e.g., kids' activities, household chores, social activities, etc.).
I am most productive only during certain hours of the day
My most productive hours (for brainstorming, coding, writing, etc.) are between 10 am and 2 pm. In all my full-time jobs, most of this time slot was spent in collaboration activities like daily stand-ups and meetings.
Executing in constraint environment produces better results
I have set a time constraint for every new idea I work on. For example, I do not spend more than two weeks on an idea from concept to launching the MVP.
I am surprised with the number of successful independent tech professionals
I learned about many independent tech professionals who earn their living through various SaaS and info products. I also joined the Small Bets community, where members regularly support and motivate each other through shared experiences and knowledge.
I don't miss work
This is surprising because I did not expect it. I am not able to articulate the reasons yet, but if they become clearer, I'll share them in my upcoming updates.
My story resonated with many
My post of LinkedIn on “Why I Quit my Job?” connected with numerous individuals who reached out to share their views, journeys, and internal debates.
Things that did not surprise
I do miss the paycheck
For 15 years, I had been accustomed to receiving a paycheck every two weeks. The first few weeks were awkward, but the habit is wearing off quickly.
Healthcare costs remains one of the biggest expense for my family
I am on Amazon's COBRA plan, which costs us (a family of 4) $2,000/month. I am going to look for alternatives to reduce this cost.
Making money independently is hard
As a full-time Software Engineer, I was never worried about whether my work would make money for the company. Making money independently is challenging, and I have identified gaps in my skillset that I need to address.
Spending time with my kids is the best
As I had expected, spending time with my two kids (5 years old and almost 3 year old) is a wonderful experience. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to spend quality time with them at this age.
I love to build
Bringing ideas to life gives me incredible satisfaction and joy.
1 - Pursue new hobby: gardening
1 - Sickness week
1 - Travel week to Canada
2 - Applications built
2.5 - Number of times working out at the Gym per week
100s - Code commits
$62.56 - OpenAI expenses
$102.72 - AWS expenses (includes domains registrations)
$18 - Total Revenue from PlaylistGeniusAI
$0 - Total Revenue from ReviewHeroAI
401 - Number of users for ReviewHeroAI Chrome Extension.
15,000 - Number users for PlaylistGeniusAI.com
33,000 - Playlists created using PlaylistGeniusAI.com
I am three months into my one-year journey, and I have loved every moment. Yes, this journey is costly, so I will be pouring all my efforts into making it sustainable.
I will continue to build, learn, and iterate.
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