Greenlighting a checklist webapp side-project

Building CHL.ST - Last updated 25 Nov 2020

Ahhh that feeling of starting a new side-project!

I’ve teamed up with my good friend Calvin Talbot to work on a webapp we have dubbed CHL.ST (pronounced C-H-L-S-T).

CHL.ST is a webapp to help share and embed interactive checklists to strengthen your products and services. Right now it’s in private Alpha.

The Greenlight

Even with lots cooking there were many reasons I allowed a checklist webapp to take up time in my day. Here are the notes I made to justify the decision, hopefully there is something in here for your next side-project decision:

  1. SaaS – I’ve been wanting to take a stab at building a SaaS product for years but nothing I’m doing felt right. Having Pro features unlocked on your free checklists, at x per year, feels right.
  2. Distribution/Marketing – Most of my projects are curation and content fueled, all by me. This idea, if done right, will be distributed by the people using it.
  3. Challenge – Checklists are a massively saturated space. You will be blown away at the checklist domain squatting too. The only way we will win is through an amazing UX experience (creation and sharing). A real exciting and difficult challenge.
  4. Teaming up – I’ve wanted to work with Calvin for years. I feel the combo of his dev skills with my passion for simple solutions is a strong start. While building I’ve also discovered we share a very similar drive for stripping features to launch lite and aim for iteration after feedback.
  5. I’m using it every day – To help streamline the production of the Yo! Podcast I’ve created an episode production checklist I’ve bookmarked. I’ve also starting accompanying my Landing Page private audits with an interactive checklist for my clients. With every podcast and audit I’m making new notes to improve the UX. This is a huge green-light for me.
  6. It improves other peoples offerings – We actually built the Alpha as a bonus add-on to my Landing Page Hot Tips Ebook. I wanted interactive checklists (vs a static PDF) to strengthen my core product. This creates a better first impression while giving the customer a more immersive learning experience.

This is where the idea really hits me in the gut. If it can improve other peoples products or services, we have something.

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