I design, I develop, I make


A maker based in Upstate New York.
Turning ideas into applications.

© 2024 Mubashar Iqbal

Looking back at 2018

December 30th, 2018

Towards the end of 2017 I decided to stop freelancing and go back to a full time job. I wanted to do less in 2018 and I did.

I sold off a couple of projects, shut down a couple of old projects, and even let some unused domains expire without renewing them.

Day Job

People are often surprised to hear I have a day job. The amount of projects I normally push out they think I do it full time.

AREA 17 is a great place to work. Every day I learn something new from some of the most talented people I know, designers, developers, project managers, and all round great people!

I helped to make some great websites for our clients.


The Art Institute of Chicago


Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation

Many of the websites we built are coded using Twill, a CMS we built and open sourced.

I’m very excited to see Twill continue to grow and become the preferred choice for anyone making a website in 2019.


My oldest daughter started high school this year. She is in a school where her graduating class will be over 3000 kids. I thought my 300 graduating class was large. Now that she’s in high school, she has to be on the school bus at 6:30am, which means I’m now a morning person. Never thought I would do that.

Went to Maine and New Hampshire for the first time and at the 2nd attempt at whale watching, saw some amazing sites.

Also visited Washington, DC for the first time.

Side Projects

In the previous 3 years I had launched 23, 12, 16 products but in 2018 I launched just 6. Followed thru on my plan to do less.

It was great working with Ben Tossell again, this time on NewCo, now MakerPad.

I did however make a lot more. In November alone I completed 6 projects, while participating in 3 hackathons (Hack Mohawk Valley, 24 Hour Startup and Makers Festival).

Not every project is the next Facebook, Google of whatever. I had a great time participating in these hackathons, in making, and I hope to do more hackathons this year.

Looking Forward

I expect to launch less again in 2019, perhaps not less than 2018, but still less than pervious years. I’ll also continue the purge of previous projects, shutting down or selling more, to reduce the distractions.

Just like last year though I expect to make more.

I think it’s ok to make things, to practice, to hone my skills by making and then discard. I see this as the same as an artist, reusing a canvas. You take everything you learned and apply it to the next project.

Side projects for me, have always been great way to learn and grow as a maker, this year I hope to help other become makers.

I’ll be experimenting with podcasting, video casting and live streaming and sharing all my learnings on Indiesaas.