Like a lot of “wantrepreneurs”, I’m guilty of binging Shark Tank and Dragons Den more that I’d like to admit. So I built something to make my binge more efficient.

Meme about productivity

When watching these shows I often find myself looking up the company in the video. Asking:

  • Are they still around?
  • Where can I buy it?
  • What is the price?
  • Did the deal fall through?

So as a programmer I decided to code something to make that easier for me.

Technology From a technology standpoint, I decided to keep it simple. Content would be the most important and unlikely to change much once done.

I didn’t want to get bogged down dealing with writing a backend or using a CMS. I wanted it to be cheap and fast to host, so I decided to build a static site.

Using just Ruby, ERB Templates, JSON, Github Actions and uploads to an S3 bucket. Excluding styling, everything was done fairly quickly. I am pretty satisfied on how it went.

I decided to keep things simple, so I decided to only use clips that were:

  • Easy to find on YouTube
  • High quality
  • Preferably an official channel

This lead me to:

Sadly Shark Tank USA and Dragons Den Canada are probably more popular but unfortunately were mostly fan uploaded or promo clips.

I did not know what I got myself into… Despite scripting the way I got:

  • Video title
  • Link to video
  • Embed link

Tracking down the company, products, etc. was extremely time consuming. I persevered. I definitely underestimated the amount of work content would require. For potential revenue I decided to sign up to Amazon affiliate program, adding affiliate links to the products where possible. Less than half of the videos had affiliate links so I supplemented this with other Amazon Ads.

Compared to some of my other projects, I am not very satisfied with it. It felt incomplete and wasn’t really adding any value to any. I was solving a problem that was barely a problem, for myself… After launching and getting next to no attention I decided to move on. Luckily I didn’t get bogged down in any new technologies, I quickly built something and assemble data and launched. This short iteration to launch helped me see that I completely missed the mark, despite people saying that they would use the site. It is something you use once or twice.

Time to move onto my next project, avoiding repeating some of my mistakes!

Official Site