Make This Year

Grow your core business by launching side projects

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#2 Product of the DayFebruary 10, 2016
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Mikael Cho
Mikael ChoMakerHiring@mikaelcho · Creator of Unsplash
Hey hey hey! We're super excited to get this out the door because launching side projects changed the game for us. I’m Mikael, founder of Crew ( and Unsplash ( We (@meseali, @kirillz, and @angusw) worked with Crew members @lukemiler and @littlebigmake to make this happen. For the last 3 years, we were able to double Crew’s revenue every year not by running ads, but by building tools (side projects) to create value (more: Marketing today is defined by how useful it is to your customers. And the bar for useful has risen substantially. Where blog posts, infographics, and webinars were once marketing gold, websites, apps, and tools are taking over. We made Make This Year because we wanted to share everything we and makers like @pjrvs @mijustin @kadavy know about creating tools to supplement your core business so you can grow in the most efficient way possible. So if you subscribe to Make This Year, you’ll get 1 lesson a month taught by an experienced ‘side project’ maker that will teach you a proven way to build different types of side projects, from email courses to tools, to substantially grow your business. Previously, we teamed up with people like @ryanhoover, @andrewchen, @hnshah, and @naval for where we put together handpicked links to take your idea to launch. If you happen to check this out today, thanks a lot for taking the time. We’ll be around today to hop in the comments.
Justin Jackson
Justin Jackson@mijustin · ⚡️
@mikaelcho happy to be a part of this! LET'S MAKE SOME STUFF!!
Filippo Mursia
Filippo Mursia@mrdobelina · Digital PM @ Gabriela Hearst
@mikaelcho Everything Crew does is magic—thanks for sharing, subscribed!
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
Happy to have you on board @mijustin ! You're a constant inspiration for us and love the way you're building a culture of making. PS. great job here as always:
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
@mrdobelina Thanks Filippo, happy to see you in! Let us know if you've any feedback for us along the way. Let's start making!
Chris Scott
Chris Scott@chrisgscott · I make stuff for pro photographers.
@mikaelcho you guys are freakin' machines over there at Crew. Looks like yet another home run. Looking forward to participating.
Fred Rivett
Fred Rivett@fredrivett · Co-founder @ The Dot
This is awesome. I love what the team at Crew have done with Unsplash, taking some leftover photos, giving them away, and in doing so creating a stock photo revolution, where high quality photos are now freely available to all. The way the product has evolved, with the latest addition being the collections, has been controlled really well, not running ahead too fast, and only adding features that really add value. @mikeaag & I know the power of side projects well. Last year was pivotal for us, we went from 0 successful launches to 7 in just 12 months, learning a tonne of valuable lessons, getting involved in the great maker community, earning some side income and even landing a great job that I've been aiming at for years, all as a result of making side projects. We're so passionate about building and launching side projects that we're writing a book about our experiences and lessons learnt the past year at Ultimately, for any wannabe makers out there, I massively encourage you, go do it. You don't need any specific skillset, there's tools out there now that enable those with no technical background to build & launch something that can provide huge value. The only thing stopping you is truly yourself. That said, there are some lessons to be learnt with how to best go about the process of building and launching, so learning these tips from those who've been there and done that is a total no brainer. Whether it's for fun, to market your main product, or as a stepping stone to starting your startup, getting into the habit of building and launching side projects is vital and an investment you won't regret.
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
@fredrivett Fred, thanks for those encouraging and awesome words, really happy to see you've been following our Unsplash & side projects journey. Personally, I've been pretty impressed with your serial making and have already been following the mockup designs of :) Really interested to see how it will come out. Let's make stuff together! Cheers
Fred Rivett
Fred Rivett@fredrivett · Co-founder @ The Dot
@meseali Thanks Ali! For sure, we're totally open to partnering up on side projects moving forwards, let me know if something fits, we'll do likewise! Definitely looking forward to finishing off the book and getting it out there, the more materials that help people build and launch the better! 🚀
Steven Rueter
Steven Rueter@rueter · Developer
Side projects are the only way to finish the main project. Perfect for channeling entrepreneurial ADD in a productive and meaningful way.
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
@rueter Love the perspective, Steven :)
ben Watanabe
ben WatanabeHiring@benwtnb · 96 Problems
Very excited about this, since I loved @meseali's Medium post that goes perfect with this
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
@benwtnb so happy to hear that, Ben. Absolutely love what you guys are building at great job every single one of them...
Scott Adamson
Scott Adamson@scottradamson · Co - Founder @ Kickbooster and @ Phox
I really like all the little side projects that the team at Crew releases keep it up. Its inspired me to start working on a few of my own.
Ali Mese
Ali MeseMakerHiring@meseali ·
@scottradamson whoa, great to hear it, Scott! thanks for this feedback :)