The Makerlog blog will be holding a weekly segment called the Maker Spotlight, in which we feature outstanding makers from around the community. In this edition, we feature Mubaris NK, an indie hacker and maker of Eternity.
Hi Mubaris, welcome to our first edition of Maker Spotlight! Tell us a little bit about you and your experience.
Hi, thank you for having me! My name is Mubaris NK. I’m from a beautiful place called Kerala, India. Currently I’m a final year B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) IT student at Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
I was interested in computers and technology ever since I was a kid. I got my first computer when I was 10 years old. It was one of those Windows PCs. I used to play different kinds of games with that, and I thought the PC was gonna burn when I saw blue screen of death for the first time.
In my school curriculum it was mandatory to study IT from 8th standard to 10th standard. During that period I learned Python which influenced me a lot. I was coding small programs in Python during that time, nothing extraordinary though.
When I had to join college, I immediately chose IT at IIIT Allahabad. And it’s wonderful here. During my period here, I served as the member and coordinator of Free and Open Source Wing of Technical Society. We also organize various technical events here. One of the biggest event is Hack In The North. It’s one of the biggest student-held hackathons in India with over 300 participants.
Ever since I learned about Indie Hacker Movement, I’ve been building my own products. I also write a Machine Learning blog at mubaris.com, though I haven’t written any posts in the last few months.
What are you working on Mubaris? Tell us a little bit about your current projects.
One of the biggest project I’m working on is Eternity. It’s a Chrome extension that helps you track time and complete your goals.
It all started when I was angry at myself. I was learning so many things back then and I wasn’t building anything substantial.
So one night I decided to make something.
I checked my Trello board of ideas and picked an idea that takes shortest amount of time to build it. It was a chrome extension for Year Progress. I made it in 2–3 hours and pushed to Chrome Store. In the next hour, I launched it on Product Hunt. It was a huge success. I got 472 upvotes (#5 Product of The Day) and 200+ installations.
I built this because I was a fan of Year Progress tweets and it made me realize how fast time moves. It looked like this, nothing fancy:
It was a simple extension with random gradient backgrounds and 10 decimal points. After the launch I got a ton of feedback on how to improve. Since then, I’ve been transforming Year Progress into Eternity, which can be used to see Day, Week, Month, Year or Custom progress. Recently I added an optional Pro plan for Eternity users to use custom progress bars.
It was fun building it, constantly finding small bugs and fixing them. The best thing is when you get amazing feedback. How Eternity keeps them motivated and made them aware of time. It was featured in various blogs and publications including Lifehacker Japan, and now has 900+ users from all around the world. Eternity looks like this now.
You can get Eternity here.
I’m also working on some other ideas as well. They are pre-alpha stage. I’m trying to build an educational platform based on Telegram. You can hear news about it very soon.
Congratulations on the recent Product Hunt launch — can you tell us about it?
Thanks! I’ve been seeing tweets like this on my timeline.
So I decided to make their life easier by making Emoji Tweeter. You can make tweets like that very easily using it. I launched it on Product Hunt last Sunday and immediately shared it on Maker’s Kitchen (a makers community) and Twitter. I got 130+ upvotes and 1 coffee on Buy Me A Coffee.
If you haven’t tried out Emoji Tweeter, try it out here!
What’s your creative process like? How do you go from idea to product?
Getting ideas is very easy. I get ideas everyday, and write them down immediately.
Then I think about implementing the idea. Whether people will use it, how long it will take to build, and many other things. After that phase, I usually share the idea with my friends. And if they think it’s a good idea, I go on to implementing it.
Once you find your creative process, stick to it.
I also think about development platform a lot. I don’t usually make mockups and drawings, but I should start doing it. When I think about some of my UI/UX it’s little complicated. I should work more on that. This is my flow. It’s very simple in my opinion. Once you find your creative process, stick it to it.
What’s been the biggest obstacles you’ve had to face while making a product?
Two of my problems are monetization and demand validation. I’m confused about whether people will use my product or pay for it. Most of the time it makes me stop building a cool idea. It might be a great idea in your mind, but for the public it might not be.
We’ve also heard about your first dollar recently — how did you do it?
That was amazing! After I introduced Eternity Pro, I launched it on Reddit and Hacker News. Afterwards, one user messaged me on Reddit about buying Eternity Pro, and he bought it!
It was an amazing feeling. I immediately shared it on Twitter and Maker’s Kitchen.
People want to hear about your journey as a maker and be part of it.
You should share your journey on a platform like Twitter or Makerlog. People want to hear about your journey as a maker and be part of it. Share your income from your projects and other stats as well. They want to hear more success stories to inspire them.
You’ve been top maker on Makerlog for a while! Tell us your secret to high productivity!
I’m a morning person. I try to wake up as early as possible and work on what’s important to me. Otherwise, I’ll never get it done. You need to find your best time to work. Find a time that works for you and work on the most important thing first.
Also, set a deadline. I set mine by creating a custom progress bar on Eternity. When I see the time moving fast, I ship fast. Time doesn’t wait for anyone, and building a daily schedule will help you a lot when shipping.
Allocate time for everything, but don’t be too strict. Make time for yourself. It’s important that you don’t burn out from the work. And it’s also important that you take breaks. Work for some time and take a small break. It’ll help you get productive in so many ways you don’t realize.
Closing question: What general advice would you give to other makers out there?
Share your journey on Twitter or some other social media. Ask any questions you have. Other makers might have had the same difficulties, and they are happy help you. Help others with their difficulties and questions. And join a community of makers like Maker’s Kitchen. This will help you a lot. Members of the kitchen have helped me a lot.
Thank you for having me.
That’s about it for the first Makerlog Maker Spotlight! It was a pleasure to have Mubaris, and we’re looking forward for even more spotlights!