In 2020 I wanted to create annotated charts showing events influencing the COVID-19 numbers. I looked around and didn’t find great ways to do it, so of course, as a software engineer, I started building a thing: contextualize.ai.
Fast forward many weekends, and lots and lots of hours around my 9-5s, I get the project to a level where I’m not absolutely embarrassed by around a month ago and start building and sharing charts with it. Some were really popular on Hacker News, Reddit, and other social media.
And then yesterday something new happened: I got my first customer! Someone who is not my mom or a good friend is willing to pay from their hard-earned money to use this thing I materialized into the world out of sheer will and persistence.
The feeling is a mix of gratitude and cautious relief. Going from zero to one is an important milestone, but it’s just the first step in the uncertain path towards “making something people want”.
My goal from the start was creating a business that can sustain me and my family. That hasn’t changed, and I’ll continue doing the work: marketing, talking to users, doing my best to build something that makes their lives better.
I haven’t officially launched yet, but I can now say this with confidence: contextualize.ai is the easiest way to build and share a beautiful and engaging annotated chart.
P.S.: I’ll start sharing more on Twitter (X?) if you’re interested in following along: @mpereira.