Product Community Spotlight: Side Hustles

Side Hustle banner

We always knew that our community were a talented bunch, and this month some of you showed us just how true that is!

In case you missed it, we spend July talking about Side Hustles, what they mean to us as product people, as well as sharing some great resources and templates to bring them to life.

We asked you to show us your side hustle chops and share your projects with us. And now we’re shining our spotlight on some of our favorites, and asking the brains behind them a few burning questions…

Interappy

Interappy

Interappy.io is the brainchild of Daniela Marquez, and is a new way to work seamlessly across the cloud apps you already know and love. It’s a cloud-based aggregator of assets, files and webpages you’re working on–it’s your dashboard where projects live. The current version of the app will be a Google Workspace add-on, but it will evolve into a chrome extension to be a full dashboard. They aim to bring a little zen to the chaos of working in the cloud.

How would you say your side hustle changed your career? It has definitely made me value my time more. Juggling being a parent, a full time VP role, and a side gig is tough! It also has helped me hone my skills on selling the vision and the why. That is always essential in product management, but even more so, when you need to translate the vision of your baby, to other people who haven’t been on the same journey you have.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking about starting a side hustle? Do it! A lot of the initial tough part of a side hustle is actually starting. Actually getting the gears going and making the decision to actually do something. Ideas are easy, execution is tricky! But getting started is the first step. Tell a friend. Make a commitment to doing ONE thing. It’s so rewarding when you get that first bit of momentum going!

What’s the most exciting part of starting something for yourself? I’ve had this feeling in the past of “oh why doesn’t this work this way? or why doesn’t this exist?” and then continued my day being frustrated and just living with it. But this time, I took that frustration and turned it into fuel to do something about it and fix it! It’s not only exciting that it’s my own idea, but it stems from a true problem I have. Owning the lifecycle of a problem is something that product people do all the time, but when its your own, there is a deeper sense of pride that comes with it. It feels damn good!

Vidadata

Vidadata

Steve Aponte, currently a VP, Head of Product Design and Strategy, is also the Co-Founder and CEO of Vidadata. Sharing your life data with your loved ones shouldn’t be risky, it should be the safest thing you do online, and that where Vidadata comes in. Share your most sensitive information (bank details, insurance information, passwords, etc) without the hassle of dealing with other entities, all in one easy to use app.

What has been your biggest challenge in having a side hustle, and how have you overcome it? Time. Managing a side hustle takes a lot of time and discipline. When we first started planning out the idea behind Vidadata I decided to allocate 2-3 hours in the very early morning (starting at 4am) to focus on building the product. This afforded me a solid amount of focused time to put into the startup, while still performing exceptionally well in my “9 to 5” without disruption.Being able to turn the switch on and off is important too. There are many days where I just want to continue working on Vidadata throughout the day but having a clear timebox helps me stay disciplined and focused. We are now 2 years into building Vidadata and I still use these techniques on a daily basis.

If you lead others as part of your side hustle, what’s your approach to leadership? Trust and Empowerment are the two key attributes I employ. Since time to work on Vidadata is limited, I have to trust that our teams are doing what they need to do. Empowering our teams to make decisions is also critically important otherwise work may come to a screeching halt waiting for me to make a decision.

Vidadata screens

How do you plan to scale your side hustle? The current motto I heavily lean on right now is “slow and steady wins the race”. The plan is to forge ahead no matter how “slow” it may seem at times and continue to build the business and get through the Product-Market fit stage. When I read about all of these tech startup unicorns and their successes, it can be tempting to fall into one of two extremes: quit my 9 to 5 and pour everything into Vidadata or just give up because it’s taking too long. I repeatedly remind myself that almost every one of these unicorns took 5, 7, and maybe even 10 years of hard work before finding success. They, too, were once in the “slow and steady” phase.

What’s the most exciting part of starting something for yourself Controlling my own destiny is what’s most exciting. I always had the “entrepreneurial bug”. I remember, as a young boy, selling baseball cards or shoveling snow in the neighborhood and feeling the excitement and freedom of making money without anyone telling me how. I can look back on my young adult years and remember several ideas I scribbled down on a piece of paper in the early 2000’s that eventually turned into a multi-million dollar idea through someone else thinking of it and building it. I’m done watching my ideas be built by someone else.

Statesman Beverage Co.

Statesman Beverage Co

Holly Tate, SVP of Growth at Leadr, is also the Co-Founder of Statesman Beverage Co, a cocktail mixer company that makes craft cocktails simple. Their products are made in small batches in Texas, and you can find them in 30+ states across the US and online.

How would you say your side hustle changed your career? It’s a completely different strategy and market than my full-time job, so it works a different part of my brain. I’m forced to think creatively and solve new problems, which helps me in my full-time job as well. It opens my mind to new perspectives.

What has been your biggest challenge in having a side hustle, and how have you overcome it? The biggest challenge in having a side hustle is not growing it as fast as I’d like because it truly is a side hustle on top of my full-time job. I remind myself that my goal is to learn as much as possible along the way, and that as long as it’s growing, and I’m learning, than that’s enough for me. I’ve also been intentional about outsourcing what I can so that it can run without me. The more I’m the bottleneck, the less it will grow.  

If you lead others as part of your side hustle, what’s your approach to leadership? Delegate responsibilities, not tasks. This is especially important in a side hustle because you aren’t full-time, so you must delegate responsibilities for others to execute so that it frees up your time. 

Statesman Beverage Co

How do you plan to scale your side hustle? Continue to outsource and become more efficient in our sales channels. Invest in what’s working and stop doing what’s not working. 

What’s the most exciting part of starting something for yourself? Experimenting and trying new things to see what sticks. Having ownership over the decisions and outcomes. 

Punx Unite

Jo Smith is a Director of Operations at Hey Marvelous by day, and a Podcaster by night! Her side hustle, Punx Unite. “Screw the Conformity Culture and learn how to thrive no matter where you fall on the mental health spectrum. Punx Unite is a podcast where hosts Jo and Jake, along with their special guests, help bring insight, connection and offer solutions so that you can learn to live with your mental health without ridicule.”

What has been your biggest challenge in having a side hustle, and how have you overcome it? For me, the biggest challenge in having a side hustle is both time and energy. One of the ways in which I overcome these challenges is by being organized and planning out the use of my time. I do this every Monday so that all I need to do for the rest of the week is obey my calendar. I also set aside time for creating content, I do this once every 3 weeks and schedule everything ahead of time when I can.

How do you plan to scale your side hustle? I plan to scale my side hustle by focusing on growing my mailing list and continuing to provide them with helpful and actionable information. I also plan to become a thought leader in my field via the Punx Unite Podcast.

You might also be interested in: The 10 Podcasts Product Managers Need to Hear

What’s the most exciting part of starting something for yourself? For me it is meeting new people, growing my own knowledge, and then sharing that knowledge with others so that they can learn to live with their mental health without ridicule.

Peace of Chain

Peace of Chain

Aero Wong was busy working as a Product Manager for Gravity Supply Chain, when he decided to start what is now the #1 Apple Business Podcast in Hong Kong; Peace of Chain. Designed for supply chain professionals and e-commerce business owners, he interviews top-notch industry insiders and technologists to help all types of supply chain stakeholders to scale their businesses.

How would you say your side hustle changed your career? It plants my foot in the technology space.

What advice do you have for others who are thinking about starting a side hustle? Take a baby step. Start small. Start anywhere.

Time to Start Your Side Hustle…?

Hopefully, this inspired you to finally start that side hustle you’ve been dreaming of. If you need a helping hand, we’ve worked with Mural, Coda, and Notion to bring you some extra special Product Management Templates, especially designed to help bring your passion project to life.

The best part? They’re totally free and ready for you to download and start customizing right away. Check them out 👉

Product Management Templates Side Hustle Edition

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