As many of you know I love writing code, and when I come across a great idea that should be codified I struggle to resist the urge of making something more of it.
It’s called Auto Refresh Single Page and is basically just a small little plugin that adds a box to the sidebar of your posts and pages edit screen to automatically refresh that page after a given number of seconds.
In the background all it does is add a refresh meta tag to the header on generation of the page. Nothing spectacular, but it hadn’t been done in this way by other plugins.
Other coders of these plugins always over think their functionality and what most people are looking for in a plugin is to solve a specific task as simply as possible (but this a topic for a whole other blog post).
So why did I go the extra step of putting this simple plugin, which I was designing to solve a specific problem, into an official WordPress.org plugin? I mean, I could have just coded it for that task and been done with it.
Why bother going to the trouble of making this into a product?
Making it into a product isn’t really that much more work. Really all you have to do in this case is submit a request with WordPress.org for them to make you an SVN repository, check in the code and write up a readme.txt file. I just copied and pasted that readme.txt into a product page here on my blog and that’s it.
2 great reasons you should productize your simple ideas and give them away
Here’s 2 reasons why I think you should productize your simple ideas like I do, and why you should give them away if possible.
Firstly, when you productize your simple ideas, like my idea for a plugin that lets you refresh a page, you gain all sorts of exposure.
You can leverage free stuff because it’s dead easy to get people to download something for free and every time someone downloads a free widget, you gain another potential customer elsewhere in your business. You’re bringing those people into the ecosystem of your business.
So, first point: You get free leverage with free stuff.
Second, writing free things is freaking cool!
It helps people and people love free stuff they can use. Make useful things is a great motto to have and it’s something I’m guessing a lot of you programmers reading this will identify with.
By building useful things you’re expanding your brand and how people identify with you. If you build a reputation of creating useful things consistently then when it comes time to create something people pay for you’ve got all these pieces of evidence that show how you constantly provide value. This is serious social proof.
Download Auto Refresh Single Page
It’s name is horrible, but it’s useful and if you’re interested in checking out this simple little product you can go view it’s product page.
So.. Mr/Mrs Reader.. What have you been coding recently?
If someone asked you for a portfolio, do you have anything you could show? Leave a link below to your latest widget.
I’m building mine here: My products. Where’s yours?