Chumbawumba and the Zen of Daytime Baseball
Witsi.co was a failure. I was an idiot for thinking I could run that kind of business.
Let me back up.
Witsi.co was a side project that I spun up several years ago. If you go back in time on this blog, I talked about it quite a bit. It was a web application that allowed users to track their credit card spending based on the rewards that those cards give and….actually this doesn’t matter. It failed. I failed.
I couldn’t get the user buy in fast enough to pay for my burn rate, and asking for investments to give myself any semblance of a runway wasn’t something I was prepared to do and… actually this doesn’t matter either. It died the way many projects do; with zero fanfare and little care outside of my own broken dreams, and the loss of a good amount of my own money. And more than that it took a ton out of me mentally.
I always thought that I could take a good idea (and I stand behind it being a good idea) and just will it into existence through my own determination and hard work. Failing at this one, despite working as hard as I could to make it work, broke my motor. You usually expect a person to slow down gradually as they age into their 30’s and 40’s. For me, there was basically an immediate drop off when I took that site down.
I’ve had quite a few other side project ideas in the years since. I’ve gotten to various degrees of “started” on all of them, but have really been unable to will myself to create anything of note. My regular 9-5 has turned from leading development pushes to management meetings and team building. Still important, but a lot less creation.
So recently I’ve started watching baseball again. For a long time I was always on the side that baseball is a terrible sport to watch on TV. It’s slow, it’s long, and not much happens. But I think most of this has to do with me being a lifelong Baltimore Orioles fan. So I’d keep up on the records, and consistently see that my team has lost more than they’ve won, but I hadn’t watched a proper game in over a decade.
But then, suddenly, the Orioles got kinda good. And so I subscribed to MLB, just to try to catch a few games. It was cheap enough, and I didn’t have anything else to watch.
I learned that baseball on TV has it’s own allure. Unlike many sports, most moments on their own are not particularly exciting. But the slow, meandering nature of the game, and the mid level sound of the announcers working against the drone of the daytime crowd, is incredibly relaxing. You can easily have a game on in the background, and just feel at peace. With my 9-5 jobs being fully remote, this was common. And I found myself putting those games on consistently, and just falling into a zen. And then, somehow, the spark of creation came back.
I focused on learning new technologies and using architecture that was interesting to me, on top of an app that is an interesting concept and fun to use. So the backend is built entirely using AWS Lambdas and other AWS services. I built out deployment pipelines for myself for fun. The app itself is built in Flutter. Everything that was becoming a slog for me in the past few years started being fun again, thanks to the sound of Camden Yards on TV.
I created a fun app that I’ve always wanted — a way to decide how to find a place to eat for a group. Eatups was born from getting knocked down, and getting back up again, with the help of a laptop and daytime baseball.
I can’t wait to see what next season brings.