2 Jan 2019 · by David DeSandro

Metafizzy 8th birthday

Metafizzy is 8 years old.


The fun talk. Here's what I got done in the past year.

2017 was dominated by fatherhood. Before the kid, I had ample time to spend between work, side-projects, fitness, and friends. Them days are long gone. My routine had to be overhauled to accomodate being a 50/50 parent. Work took a big hit.

My aim was to re-group in 2018. I had to be more disciplined about what hours I did have available. Looking back, I'm relieved that I was able to ship these projects. The Round 3D pet project was made in quiet hours post-bedtime, in response to wasting away my tired-dad hours of 2017.

See the Pen Solids by Dave DeSandro (@desandro) on CodePen.

I'm particularly proud of the hex codes talk. In an effort to overcome my previous lackluster on-stage performances, I hunkered down in October to put together a talk on a persnickety topic of mine. Presenting at dotCSS in Paris was a thrill. Seeing the big response to the talk felt like validating a job well done.

Looking forward

Now, the real talk. Here is a chart of Metafizzy's revenue for the past 8 years:

Metafizzy 8 years revenue

I see two trends:

  • Revenue grew in the years 2011-2015, when I was working on Metafizzy least.
  • Revenue plateaued and then took a big drop in the years 2015-2018, when I working on Metafizzy full-time.

The conclusion I come to is that I got lucky. Although I've been working on the business more actively, revenue hasn't changed for the better. Metafizzy's success has been largely market-driven. Isotope was the right piece of software at the right time. I've been able to ride that lucky wave for a while.

I've been working on Metafizzy for 8 years, 4 years full-time. It's the longest full-time job I've ever had. I love it and want to keep going. But I'm in a way different place now then when I first started. I've got mortgage payments and diapers to worry about. Each year the prospect of staying full-time with Metafizzy has been looking more and more shaky.

It's important to share what's really going on here, rather than perpetuate a misrepresentation. In the age of social media, there is a tendency to share the best version of yourself. And if you're an independent business operator, this means projecting a narrative that business is booming and each year is better than the last. But, doing so, you miss out on a better perks of being independent: honesty.

I'm staying the course for now. But big changes may be ahead, just like they always can be.

Oh yeah, Masonry turns 10 this year.

Previous year-end round-ups: