editorials

LastCheck: What I’ve Learned and What’s To Come

by Jamal on April 15, 2019

At the beginning of 2017 I launched my first app LastCheck! It was a great experience taking a random idea and being able to make it a concrete product. Now two years later, there was some ups and downs, but I learned a lot along the way. So today I’m going to go over what I gained, what I should’ve done better, and what’s the future state of LastCheck.

What I Could’ve Done Better

I’m a firm believer in looking at the negatives first, then going over positives. Overall, LastCheck didn’t have any real failures. It accomplished all my initial goals I set for its creation and gave me everything I needed from it. However, there were quite a few things I could’ve probably done better that I’m going to take with me going into my next projects.

Income Model

One of the biggest things looming over my app was what I could provide to my users to create consistent revenue. I bring this up not in reference to having ad revenue streams and charging users for extended features. That’s very simple and brings no value to my users in a way where it could achieve what I wanted.

Time Management

Being that with FAI I both release personal projects and take on client work, balancing both can be very difficult. At LastChechk’s initial release I took time away from client work to focus on getting it to where I thought a solid public beta could be. However, I got to the point where I decided to take on a few long term projects(with good clients) that took all my time away from FAI Labs. So in turn, LastCheck took a backseat and releases came very infrequently.

User Focus

Because I never had the time to get LastCheck to a solid V1 in my eyes, I left it open as a public beta of sorts. In short, if you could find it either through searching or my websites than you’d be able to download it. As I was building it out at this phase I kept it pretty open by not having a target group of users that I felt would benefit most from it.

In that way I figured I could take time to figure out users that gravitated to it and liked it, and then build my marketing plan around that. In the end, it hurt me in multiple ways. Not being to narrow down on features, best way to implement income streams, marketing approach, and quite a few others.

What Went Well

Okay, enough with the less than ideal pain points in my LastCheck experience. Let’s get to the good stuff!

User Growth

I am very proud of this! Despite putting any effort into marketing the app, only by searching and knowing of me would you be able to find it, users gravitated to it greatly. Being able to have an idea that could attract users in the thousands in this manner is something that solidifies the value in my idea and growth into new ventures.

Technical Solutions

On the tech side, there were a lot of challenges I faced in turning this idea into a useable app. Both on the backend and frontend, mostly backend, there some things I had to come up with creative solutions to achieve the quality experience I needed users to feel when using my product. I am very grateful to experience those challenges, and happy I can take them to next projects as well.

Branding

Overall, I think the branding I put behind LastCheck was spot on. Everything from logos to colors, and everything in between, just fits so perfectly. All that in mind, came together greatly in conjunction with how simple and familiar the name actually is.

Whats To Come

So with all that in mind, I’ve come up with a clear path for what LastCheck needs to be. In the next few releases of LastCheck I’ll be pivoting it to a model of device level functionality. I’ll be rewriting it to remove API level interactions, account creations, etc.

Also, I’ve decided that LastCheck will remain a free app I work on in my spare time(if at all). The idea of charing for this type of project, in the way it would be worthwhile, just didn’t appeal to me.

Overall I’m happy with how it all played out for this app, and my final decision for it in the end. Ironically, I think it whats suits my personality the most anyway.