Side projects 🤘

Wrangling code, experimenting with growth techniques, toying with ad campaigns. I've got a few side projects on the go to help remind me what it's like to be in the trenches.

Sometimes I'll look at a category of apps and ask "Why are these apps always so bloated? Why do they always do it *that* way? Why is all the marketing always the same?"

What better way to answer these questions than to experience it first hand.


I’ve used most weight lifting apps out there's a general pattern to the experience. They are ridiculously hard to get started. And then they are like needy, harassing, shitty friends that you don’t want to hang out with. So I decided to build my own.

I made an extremely basic working version as quickly as I could, and hit the gym. After a few sessions I needed to start making tweaks, building additional functionality as I needed it. An approach we used at Discovr - only build the things we strongly felt were needed after dog fooding internally - I really dig this approach for building an MVP by the way.

I spent alot of time planting fun little things inside the app. One experiment that turned good was the randomly selected workout colours picked when you create a new workout. It helps identify what workout your doing that day, and it adds a nice personal touch to everyones experience. When I caught up with a buddy, he showed me his workouts and he had a great palette going, I immediately opened my app and recreated the palette with my workouts. This colour thing turned out to be really fun! When friends send me screenshots of their workouts, it always looks so striking and so unique. It felt like this thing has taken a life of its own.

The product market fit for Trainer isn't quite right yet, it has a problem with user retention that I havn't got around to solving yet. But it was great fun scratching an itch, chatting to users, and adding little bits of personality into the app.

Check out Trainer in the App Store

El Flaco Fitness

AKA Trainer 2.0

So after building Trainer, my Personal Trainer - Andres - was keen to get an app for his fitness brand.

The goal was to create an app that allowed him to create workout programs for his clients. I ended up branching off an earlier project - Trainer. While I reskined the app, and a hidden client management view, Andres recorded over one hundred tutorials for exercises.

There are a few key difference between Trainer and El Flaco. Bottom bar navigation enables not only easier navigation but also grants quicker access to the exercises view. This makes adhoc training sessions where Andres would have to make up workouts on the fly when it's a busy day in the gym with his client.

Remember that retention problem I had with Trainer? That was a result of Trainer being pretty static. It relied on users own motivation and dedication to maintain it. And well, people arn't always motivated to update a workout app with their own workouts and exercises.

To help solve this problem, we build a marketplace into El Flaco. Clients can check the marketplace browse a range of programs with detailed descriptions and instructions, and add a whole new training program to their app with the press of a button.

My favourite part here is that Andres can do everything he needs to do to manage his digital service from his phone. Something that is vital to the success of this app as he doesn't own a computer. He can check in on clients progress, creating custom exercises or workouts for them if he needs. And if he has a new training program that he wants everyone to have access to, he can write up the program, select or add new workouts, upload a picture and push it out to everyone - all from his phone.


Highlights is a very simple notes app that I build for myself to encourage better note taking habits.

With existing note taking applications, I found myself creating notes and never being able to find them again. It was too hard to organise them. I wanted something was easier to manage. Something that didn't have all the bells and whistles that I didnt use.

I build myself a very light weight app that features an easily filterable list view. The editor automatically styles titles and body content, so I can just focus on getting my thoughts down.

My favourite part is the tag view. When I create a new tag, an extension to the keyboard elegantly pops into view. As I select different colours for my tags, I get a little haptic feedback as the colour swatch winks as me to reinforce its selection. Its a lovely little moment that probably leads to me creating too many new tags 😜

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Parcel tracking

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