Project Graveyard

Below is a timeline of the projects that are no longer with us. To memorialize them properly, I’ll share a line about the project and a line about what I’m taking away from it.

RIP. Rest In Projects.

🪦 Successful Projects 🪦

15fiftyfive – 2018 – A themed dinner series.

This was an every-other-week dinner series for 6-8 people that had each guest I knew bring a +1 to create a unique conversational atmosphere. It culminated in a fundraising dinner that raised $1,500 for a puppet theater in Los Angeles.

Monstrous Me – 2017 – An illustrated book that personifies 40 adult problems as childlike monsters.

This book ended up being successfully funded on Kickstarter (120%!) and had a run of 250 books printed.

🪦 Failed Projects 🪦

Alexploring – 2023 – A YouTube channel exploring trends in American states.

This second attempt at YouTube got up to 1,200 subscribers. I set out with a goal of monetization within 20-25 videos. At last count, I was about 1,800 hours short of the 4,000 watch hours to qualify. While it was fun to have the weekly creative outlet, I found that I wasn’t creating something that I really identified with, I was creating to try and find an audience. When the videos that struck a nerve turned out to be the more negative, critical ones, the project became less attractive.

FuturePass – 2022 – A YouTube channel about travel trends.

In service of a recent master’s degree in tourism, I hoped to develop a place where I could interview leaders in travel technology. While we got up to 900 followers, I didn’t account for the time it would take to create weekly videos.

Connect A Book – 2015 – 2016 – A social network that lets users create connections between books.

In a fight against the algorithm, I thought having users generate connections between books based on their own ideas, discoveries, or whims would be interesting. The whole platform was built out before really talking to users. Not having done the coding myself, it became too expensive to make even small changes as I did more user research, so I had to shut it down.

Connect The Thoughts – 2015 – A newsletter connecting long reads of the day.

I initially set out to produce ten of these more research-intense letters. As I closed in on the 10th, I recognized that I was writing them more slowly, but decided to re-up the project. Without a more clearly defined reason to keep going (and a job that took up more time), the letter was abandoned.

You Know Who – 2015 – An interconnected interview series.

The idea was to have interviews with people, where each guest then selected the next person to be interviewed (as in, “You know who might be interesting to talk to next…”). In my naivete, I must not have explained the project well because when I started to promote it, guests who thought our conversations were private were shocked to see them online. I was too embarrassed to keep it going.

The Cardmageddon – 2015 – A Los Angeles-themed greeting card company.

The initial goal was to see if we could set up the business and create designs for every neighborhood within 24 hours. While we did this (and made some sales, hot damn!), we ended up keeping the business going for a few months until it petered out from inattention.

Fantastic Ballads – 2010 – 2012 – A collection of illustrated rhyming ballads.

Though the few ballads we created were beautiful and fun, my partner and I didn’t anticipate the time that would be needed to sustain the project while we built an audience.