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  • Writer's pictureTyler Dane

Compass is open-source 🎉

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

The Gist

The Origin Story

Having more autonomy after quitting my FT job in 2021, I started relying on Google Calendar to help me decide how to spend my time. GCal had everything I needed to plan the specifics, but it didn't help me prioritize. I found myself filling my calendar with low-priority tasks while neglecting the hard stuff. I also had no way to integrate my schedule with my long-term goals or priorities. I was scattered and unaligned with my purpose.

I needed an app that combined the "What" with my "Why"; one where I could plan my week but also ensure that my schedule reflected my values.

I decided to make Compass into that app and document my progress on YouTube.

The Journey

After 3 months of prototyping and talking to users, I made a huge mistake:

I focused on making a calendar.

I spent so much time building the features we all expect from a calendar that I didn't innovate much. By the time the calendar was good enough to add more interesting features, my morale and runway were too low to continue.

Despite never reaching product-market-fit, I did build some of the most difficult aspects of a modern productivity app, including:

  • Google OAuth authentication

  • User session management

  • 2-way sync with Google Calendar

  • Local timezones

  • Recurring events

  • Tagging events

  • Resizing events

  • Drag & drop tasks & events

  • Task reordering

  • Shortcuts

  • Handling all-day events (trust me, tougher than it sounds)

Why I Open-Sourced It

The honest answer:

I couldn't sell it at a price that I felt good about.

The other honest answer:

Too many developers are spending too much time recreating the same features. This increases the time it takes for teams to get feedback from their users, which decreases the likelihood of success, which means users don't get the valuable apps they could've.

I gave it a helluva shot, but I didn't make my dream calendar app. But now that my code is public, maybe you can make yours. Thanks to the MIT license, you could even fork it, add your spin to it, charge for it, and grow it into a great business.

All I ask is that you let me know once it's ready so I can finally stop using my Google Calendar 🙂

Thinking about open-sourcing your own project? Check out my open-source launch checklist, which I followed with Compass.

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