DeveloPassion's Newsletter #118 - Big goals for big moves

DeveloPassion's Newsletter #118 - Big goals for big moves

Hello everyone! I'm Sébastien Dubois, your host (I'm on Twitter). You're receiving this email because you signed up for DeveloPassion's Newsletter. Thank you for being here with me ✨

Welcome to the 118th edition

Another week, another newsletter! I hope that you all had a great one 🤩

This week, I've continued focusing my energy on Knowii. It's a huge project and I'm working alone on it, so it will take me a while before I can launch something that's interesting enough. This is both the funniest and the most frustrating part of the adventure. It's fun because I get to unleash the tech geek in me. And it's frustrating because noone can see what I have in mind, and it remains abstract. Also, it will be a while before I reach the true validation: people taking out their credit cards to benefit from what my service has to offer. For now, I need to focus my energy and trust my gut. This is something the world needs, and I know it! :)

I failed to follow ChatGPT's semi-marathon training plan. The intensity was too high for me at this point, and I hate running when it rains outside 😂. Anyways, progress takes time and requires patience.

If you enjoy this newsletter and get value from it, please consider becoming a subscriber. You'll be able to join our community and meet like-minded people while enabling me to keep creating content. If you prefer, you can also buy one of my products on Gumroad or offer me a cup of coffee.

Alright, let's gooooo 🚀

The lab 🧪

I'm psyched to announce that I've sold over 500 copies of the Obsidian Starter Kit and hit $10K of revenue so far! 🎉

My other products continue to do well, including the most recent one, the IT Concepts Wall.

I've also gained one more paid subscriber for the newsletter, and it feels GREAT, as my newsletter feels like a "part of me" by now. It's one of my main habits, and I try to publish at least one each week, flawlessly.

I've decided to focus on three major goals for the coming weeks/months:

  • Knowii
  • Writing
  • YouTube

Knowii is far from a small and riskless bet, but my gut tells me that it's where I need to go next. I really needed a big goal to push myself to make bigger moves. I won't repeat the mistakes I did in the past, but I have to take some risks to be able to build it. The main cost of the project is the amount of time it takes to build a fully-fledged product (vs a toy app). No matter how much I want to limit the initial scope, Knowii won't be valuable without at least some useful features. At this point, I'm already "bleeding" money, as I subscribed to Vercel for it and dedicate about a day on it each week. Considering my daily rate as a freelancer, I estimate the current cost of Knowii to be $4K a month. I can invest about six months into it before it starts to hurt too much. After that, I will have to ask myself the right questions depending on where I am, whether I already have paid subscribers, etc. We'll see how it goes! For those interested, note that I've created a channel dedicated to the project on the PKM Slack.

I also want to publish more articles, as I've been quite "passive" for the last few weeks, and my pen feels really lonely! Finally, YouTube remains a top priority, even though I'm making very slow progress there. I did publish a video recently, but I'm not satisfied with the quality/results yet. Far from it 😂

New articles

No new article this week

Quotes of the week

  • "It’s your road, and yours alone, others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you" — Rumi
  • "Change is not a straight line to the finish. It's a winding road" — Coach Meg (Organize Your Mind, Organize Your Life)

Book of the week

How cool is that?!

How to make Youtube less distracting
Youtube is a great free source of information and entertainment that we’ve all used at some point. Here’s a guide on how to make it less distracting

Thinking and learning

AI as Writing Partner
LLMs can speed up the writing process. Here’s one way they can help.
Spatial canvases and your notes
The advent of visualization tools being integrated with your notes is upon us in 2023.
Introducing Substack Notes
Unlocking the power of the subscription network
Why Kids Are “Smarter”: Study Reveals Explanation for Faster Learning
If you’ve ever thought your children in elementary school were “smarter” than you, or at least quicker at taking up new skills and knowledge, new research published in the journal Current Biology confirms that you were correct. According to the new study, there are differences in the brain messenger
Why I choose Obsidian as my PKM
When I browse articles about productivity and note-taking apps review, the concept of personal knowledge management (PKM) is something…
A Checklist for Good Thinking
Seed criteria for what our Personal Knowledge Management Systems (PKMS) need to support if they are to truly become our thinking partners

Indie Hacking and bootstrapping

Developreneur | David Levai | Substack
entrepreneurship, programming, digital products, productivity, and digital nomad life for developreneurs. (previously Business of IT). Click to read Developreneur, by David Levai, a Substack publication with hundreds of readers.
5 Invisible Steps Before Starting a Business
If you are interested in starting your own business, there are a number of “invisible steps” you’ll need to take first that you’re not likely to find outlined in a regular step-by-step tutorial. As someone who started their own nonprofit (Sustainable Ocean Alliance) and as a young person who didn’t
Hyrum’s Law - The Bootstrapped Founder
Reading Time: 4 minutes Removing features is surprisingly effective for a SaaS founder. But the surprise of how much less maintenance there is for the founder is only the first one of many — and maybe the only one you can anticipate. At FeedbackPanda, we tried to quietly remove a feature that we had…
I created a site that gets 300K-500K organic visits/month in 12 months - AMA
Hey Folks, I was planning to write a post explaining everything since two months ago but I had no time to write it. *So I decided to make it a AMA .. *…
My 2022 Creator Revenue Story: How I Almost Didn’t 2x My Revenue This Year
I almost wasn’t able to write such a glowing review of 2022….
I Spent $35,000 on a “Typo Domain.” Good or Bad Investment?
After spending an “unreasonable” amount of cash on a typo domain six months ago, here’s my ROI and the lessons learned.


The EU’s Proposed CRA Law May Have Unintended Consequences for the Python Ecosystem
Bill Gates: AI is most important tech advance in decades
The former Microsoft boss says AI is the second revolutionary technology he’s seen in his lifetime.
Dumb Password Rules
A compilation of sites with dumb password rules. -—Making neural nets uncool again
Signals vs. Observables, what’s all the fuss about?
Signals are a talk of the time. But let’s dive into differences between signals and observables so that we can better understand the trade-offs we are making.


Think of language models like ChatGPT as a “calculator for words”
One of the most pervasive mistakes I see people using with large language model tools like ChatGPT is trying to use them as a search engine. As with other LLM …
The ChatGPT list of lists: A collection of 3000+ prompts, examples, use-cases, tools, APIs…
Oh, ChatGPT! Some 4 months on the market and a not so tiny ecosystem has developed all on its own, with lists of prompts, tips, APIs, use…
Keeping up with the overwhelming pace of AI innovation
Or, what increasingly feels like we’re living life inside of an exponential function
Understanding Large Language Models -- A Transformative Reading List
Since transformers have such a big impact on everyone’s research agenda, I wanted to flesh out a short reading list for machine learning researchers and prac…

About Sébastien

Hello everyone! I'm Sébastien Dubois. I'm an author, founder, and CTO. I write books and articles about software development & IT, personal knowledge management, personal organization, and productivity. I also craft lovely digital products 🚀

If you've enjoyed this article and want to read more like this, then become a subscriber, check out my Obsidian Starter Kit, the PKM Library, my collection of books about software development and the IT Concepts Wall 🔥.

You can follow me on Twitter 🐦

If you want to discuss, then don't hesitate to join the Personal Knowledge Management community or the Software Crafters community.