The New Project Setup Checklist

As I mentioned earlier, one of my goals for this year is to launch 2 revenue-generating projects. I took a couple hours this morning and started the ball rolling on 2 of the potential candidates to fulfill that goal.

Here’s the checklist I use to lay the foundation for a project:

  1. Declare a descriptive code name
    A good code name (aka working title) has 3 characteristics; articulate the interesting aspects of the project, define the personality of the project, and be completely disposable. The original code name for Cullect was ‘FeedSeeder’. While ‘FeedSeeder’ worked for defining and building the system – it’s a horrid name. The code name for one of the projects inspiring this post is ‘cashboard’, which leads me to..
  2. Create a place for the project
    For me, this means creating a directory in my projects directory (~/Documents/Projects/) and an iCal calendar titled [code-name].
  3. Buy a good domain name
    If anything, the search for a good domain name confirms the need for a disposable code name. I search for domain names after I’m sure I’m serious about the project, though again, this might not be the final project name – Cullect was almost called ‘’ (again, bleeech). Once I’ve got the domain name, I usually dispose of the code-name and re-do Step 2 for the domain name.
  4. Set up the website and email at that domain
    For me, this means creating a ‘garrick@…’ user and installing WordPress on one of my servers at Joyent. This could also mean pointing a account at your domain, or something similar.
  5. Set up the Twitter account for that domain name.
    Finding a Twitter username can be as tricky as finding the domain name, and definitely stay as close to the domain name as possible. Use the email address you just set up – I even use a variation of it for my non-username Twitter ‘name’. Oh, and be sure to follow yourself 🙂
    Note: Whether or not Twitter is where people will be next year, it’s where they are now. Plus, if your project is a software application – there’s a good chance Twitter could be an interface to it.

2 thoughts on “The New Project Setup Checklist

  1. Andrew, excellent question. I don’t have a default project directory structure. 90% of my project are web apps, I have a the app’s source code directory inside the project directory – and that’s about it. All other project related stuff initially is put just inside the project directory. I’ve found subfolders work best when they’re created as needed, otherwise they clutter up the place.

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