Building GistReader

Every software developer knows this to be true: we all have a list of ideas for side projects that we want to build.

I've had a list of ideas for side projects for years, but I've never actually built any of them.

I've started a few, but I've never finished any of them. There always was an excuse for not finishing: Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough experience. Not enough motivation. Not enough discipline. Not enough confidence.

But I've decided that I'm done with excuses. I am going to build something, and I am shipping it shipped it.

The problem

I want to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the tech industry. I want to read interesting articles, and listen to interesting podcasts. But I don't want to spend hours every day sifting through all the noise to find the good stuff.

Back in the days, RSS was the way to go. You could subscribe to the blogs you liked, and you would get all the new posts in your feed reader. With the coming of social media, RSS has become less popular. But it's still around, and it's still a great way to stay up to date with your favorite blogs. Even so, our concentration spans have withered away, and we want to consume content in bite-sized chunks.

The solution

That is where GistReader comes in. It's a service that allows you to subscribe to RSS feeds, but it is also a read-later app (like Pocket and Instapaper), which means that you can save any web page.

On top of that, it automatically summarizes the articles for you, so you can quickly scan through the bullet points and determine if you want to read the full article. I am also experimenting with text-to-speech: you can generate a personalized podcast feed, and listen to the articles while you're on the go.

The future

In the past few months, 400 users have signed up for GistReader. It is still very hard to get people to pay for it, but I am in this for the long run. I have already learned a lot from building this (especially when it comes to marketing), and I am going to continue to learn and improve.

My goal for GistReader is to enable you not only to read and listen to articles, but also to help you to understand them. I've got a lot of ideas on how to do that, so stay tuned for more updates.

Would you like to try GistReader? Sign up for free, and let me know what you think!

I am also going to continue to share my journey on Twitter, so make sure to follow me there if you want to stay up to date.