Today I decided to kill one of my babies.
Before you call the police, I have to tell you that it’s not the 4-year-old or the 18-month-old baby I’m going to kill, but rather, the one that’s 11 months old.
On Feb. 1, my sidegig, Rumblestrut, launched a job posting website for nurse practitioners called npjobsearch.com. If you’d like to know more about the technical aspects of the experiences, I wrote another blog entry called 5 lessons from the NPJobSearch launch.
Rumblestrut has done work for another NP-related website, 4 State APN, and my mom also is a nurse practitioner. (My dad is a registered nurse, too, which has saved me a few trips to the ER thanks to their insight.) In the process of working on 4 State APN, I stumbled across some job posting sites catering toward NPs that were obviously successful – taking considerable amounts of money to have employers post positions – but were terribly designed.
I believed I could do better and make some good bank at it. When it launched, I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I thought the design was good, I had social media integration that posted the jobs from the site to facebook and Twitter automatically, and people could sign up to get e-mail notices of job postings when they were posted to the site. Pretty sweet, eh?
My goal was to keep it free for six months, then start charging to have people post to the website.
What happened was, shortly after I launched it, I realized that I had made a mistake. I tried to shake it off. Perhaps I was dealing with post-launch dénouement.
No, that wasn’t it. The cold, hard, bitter fact of what I was feeling was this: I wasn’t passionate about it. I’m not in the medical field. I don’t really run in the same circles (although I know some and have certainly lived around nurses long enough to know quite a bit about the life).
Should I have chosen something I know about, such as webbys or even Lawrencians, I would have been all over it. But trying for a nationwide job search for nurse practitioners? I look at some things going on in Lawrence such as the A.D.D. podcast, Police Scanner Action in Lawrence, Kansas or Those Polish Thingies (makers of Polish pierogies) and it seems so obvious now what to do. By whatever measure you consider something a success, people who go after things they’re passionate about seem to get more momentum than those doing something only for the scrilla.
I was doomed from the start.
And so, tonight, I’ve decided to finally shut down the site. I need to do a little cleanup, notify a few of the subscribers that are left and then I’ll pull the plug.
All is not lost. I’m going to repurpose parts of the site for some other projects that I’m much more interested in. I learned a great deal in the process and I have an excellent point of reference to start from when building out my own ideas in the future.
But believe me, the next time I get into something I’ll be asking myself “Are you passionate about this?” If not, I’ll move on and do something else.