Lingualime - My Venture into SAAS
November 08, 2022
On October 5th 2022 I left my job in order to pursue solopreneurship. I don’t have a lot of financial runway, nor do I have a lot of experience as a software engineer, but I do have a lot of drive and I think that’ll get me a long way. I only really have about 2 months before I will have to get another job. However, I feel this is enough time to create something or somethings cool that could add a little value to the world.
It’s always been a dream of mine to create products and services from scratch that I could call my own. That would be able to sustain me and give me some kind of financial freedom. Creating something from scratch is such a wonderful and enjoyable experience. It feels like play. It’s no effort. I’ve been on this journey for that last two weeks or so and not one day has went by that feels like a chore. I’m currently in total control of my time and my work is fun. It feels great!
What is Lingualime anyways?
Lingualime is a flashcard application for learning foreign languages. It utilises spaced repetition and gives its’ users ready-made decks to master vocabulary. It also incorporates social features such as leaderboards and mechanisms to increase user retention such as points (limes) that are accumulated upon successful daily reviews. As well as daily review streaks.
In the past I used ANKI, another flashcard app, to learn German to a lower intermediate (B1) level. It’s an incredibly efficient form of learning vocabulary that utilises something called spaced-repetition. This is where the flashcards are shown to you at ever increasing intervals of time upon correct revisions. This process solidifies the vocabulary in your long term memory.
In March 2021 I created a Youtube channel centred around language learning. Over the last 1.5 years I have obtained 12000 subscribers and these are largely individuals interested in the language learning niche.
One of the hardest parts of building a product or service is the marketing. However, with my Youtube audience I have partially solved this problem for myself. All I need to do is create something of value for this group of individuals. There are plenty of opportunities in the language learning niche for product development and innovation. However, given that I am relatively new to software development, I wanted to create something that was achievable in only several months of full time development. Hence my venture into creating a language flashcard app.
However, for this project I wanted to focus solely on Typescript. I no longer want to spread myself thin, learning multiple frameworks and languages. My goal was to find a framework that utilised only Typescript and learn it well.
Several months ago I ran into the T3 Stack. I hit the jackpot. This stack provides everything a developer needs to get a full stack application running fast. It use typescript throughout and handles data management with tRPC and Prisma.
I’ve also opted for using Planetscale for my database solution as it is an incredibly easy way to get a scalable database up and running quickly with little hassle and interfaces seamlessly with the rest of the stack.
It uses Next.js which offers a lightly opinionated, heavily optimised approach to creating a website using React.
For the UI I use tailwind which I also absolutely love! It has massively simplified styling and reduces the faff of having to work with stylesheets for everything.
For Authentication I use NextAuth and for hosting and deploying my application I use Vercel.
Last but not least I have to give Github Copilot a mention. This tool really is astounding. It has dramatically decreased my coding time by providing crazy good code suggestions and autocompletions. I HIGHLY recommend any developer to get their hands on it. It’s a game changer for me!
Every part of this stack has been chosen for simplicity and speed and allows for you to create simple full stack web applications at an incredible rate.
So far I’ve been unemployed for 19 days. 5 of which I spent in Cannes on a holiday with my girlfriend and her family. Therefore, I’ve spent the last 2 weeks or so developing Lingualime and working on jay.sx. It’s been such an enjoyable process so far. It just feels like play. Time flies by when you’re having fun eh?
At the beginning I used excalidraw to draw up some basic page designs and create a rough layout for my application.
I’ve almost got a basic version of the application working. Hopefully in the next few days or so I will get family and friends to test it for me before releasing it to the public.
Blog & Leaderboard
User Portal & Flashcard Review
Within the next few days I want to get a basic version of the application ready for testing by friends and family. Additionally, I’d like to create a lot more content for this new website of mine and migrate over some of the old blog content from my previous personal site.← Go home