This isn't even a thresher shark, which is what my brain went to for "thrashing." Brains are dumb.
Two Years and Thrashing
Two years in, IntroCave is performing pretty well! It's not producing a full-time income yet, but the site is on track to recoup what I paid for it in a reasonable timeframe. Three years was the extremely optimistic goal. Four to five years was the "I didn't break it" goal. Much more than 5 years would probably mean a failed experiment. Two years in, I'm right on track to pay it off in that 5-year time horizon. I've got a much more stat-filled and retrospective blog post that's been brewing in my head for almost a year, but I'll probably post that over on my personal site if I can finish it in the next week or so.
Traffic has started to decline a bit, which is STRANGELY a good thing. I was getting an artificial bump from the world being on lockdown, and hopefully this is a sign that things are starting to go back to "normal" (whatever that means in 2020).
The end of May was super productive in terms of creating new intros for the site, but creating/processing video templates uses a very different part of my brain than coding. I enjoy them both, but I found it super hard to get back into working on Intro Maker this month. I think one day a week is perfect for working on new content (7 new templates last month, 8 new templates this month), but it doesn't leave a lot of mental bandwidth to work on more ambitious projects.
Instead of working on one big ambitious project (Intro Maker), I decided to revisit another big unfinished project: the render architecture overhaul. When traffic spiked in March, I was able to just throw raw hardware at the problem. Now that things are calming down a bit, the extra machines are more of a pain in my ass to keep running smoothly. If I'm going to "buy" back spare brain cycles to really make progress on Intro Maker, that means taking my routine tasks (server maintenance, new videos, blog posts, newsletters) and ruthlessly paring down how much energy it takes to keep those plates spinning. I already spent a lot of time in the last year doing that for the newsletter and the blog, but I think it's worth putting down Intro Maker for a few more months to streamline the video pipeline and the render servers.
Is that thrashing? It feels like thrashing. But it's also just being realistic. This is what my desktop looks like right now:
These are just the files that go on IntroCave—preview images, preview videos, etc. There are also template files and all the actual assets that are used to create the templates. It's a lot to manage. I am managing (so far), but it's brittle. And most of the processes live only in my head. I've started moving that content out of my brain and into Notion, but writing some of this stuff down has really thrown on a spotlight on how stupid some of this stuff really is. Which is fine! I have plenty of time to fix it.
New Intro Video Templates (July 2020)
Outrun Car - Logo
Take a retro joyride with room in the passenger seat for your logo.
Outrun Car - Text
Ditto, but who needs a logo? Retro intro meets retro text effects.
I still need more intros that help you get hyped, but this one's a fun start.
Bright Light Logo
Clean. Calm. Corporate. I can't go full neon all the time.
Colorful Glitch Logo
Is it a glitch? A hologram? Lasers? Who cares! It looks cool.
Colorful Flow Logo
It feels weird to describe moving pixels as luxurious, but that's what I think every time I watch this intro.
Epic sci-fi action, just waiting for your logo.
Plain talk: when you spend a bunch of money to license some badass 80s fonts, you're going to look for more excuses to use them.