This year is a special year for Shooting Unicorns because we finally have a solid roadmap to smash through since our inception. We started Shooting Unicorns in 2017 as a playground for learning and shipping apps for fun (as our name may imply), but as we grew as iOS Software Developers, so did our ambitions. By 2018, we switched our focus to web and had hopes for our passion projects to become something more.
The issues? We didn't have a problem we were both passionate about solving, nor did we have the industry experience and knowledge needed to execute it. 2018 then became the year we used hackathons as an outlet for networking, finding problems worth solving and rapidly testing out ideas. We ended up making $9,384.02 (about $782 per month) from cash prizes, but nothing we wanted to commit to for the long haul.
Then everything changed a few days before the New Year. We saw an advertisement offering 100 free trades by a major bank in Australia, which reminded us of how trading had always been on our to do list since we first met. We talked about how we even downloaded an illustrated book on getting started in stock analysis, but called it quits knowing that day trading was never going to happen for people like us with day jobs.
That was when it clicked… We're engineers! Why can't we build algorithms, model strategies and automate it?! Then the need to be physically bounded to a desk and running our eyes across 6 screens for opportunities becomes less of a requirement. Once we built up a foundation on trading, we could even explore different niche products or services for other traders too! Yes it sounds naive… but the worst thing in life is not even trying at all.
It was this pivotal moment when we knew exactly what we wanted to focus on for 2019.
Earlier this year (February), we signed up for MongoDB's two month long hackathon. The timing was perfect and it was the push we needed to ship out an MVP. Porysays is a platform for creating trading strategies, backtesting with historical data, paper trading and ultimately automating the process.
It was truly a humbling experience to find out we made it into top 3, received the best company award and was invited to fly over to New York City from Australia to compete in the finals. Go Shooting Unicorns!
Check out the MongoDB world hackathon finals below 😉
(play video from 43:30)
We've always had a vision that we would have a portfolio of niche products and services that could generate us passive income. The opportunity crept up at work one day and we kicked off a wedding place card maker. Users can choose from a wide range of printable place card templates and customize according to their wedding theme.
Weddingbird costs $5.00 per template and users can generate as many place cards as their friendship group can offer. After spending a little over 2 months building the platform, we are now focusing on the hardest part ever…building up a presence on Google 😩.
This is without a doubt the furthest we've come in our entrepreneurial journey. There's still a lot of unknowns and long nights ahead, but we'll persevere and hold ourselves accountable for the rest of the year.
Our goal is to turn these two products into a viable business and be able to bring home some bacon by the end of 2019. Stay tuned for our end of year update 🤞.