LinkPeelr is a URL expander that takes a URL and peels it to show you the URL that you will actually be taken to. It took me a Friday to design the logo (I am a complete Adobe Illustrator noob, so be charitable) and the weekend to layout the one page, test the app and deploy it on Google App engine.
The next two weekends were spent polishing Google Chrome extension that makes peeling possible for any link on any page (shows the resulting URL in a nice-looking tooltip). Altogether I ended up being a rather nice-looking, compact project.
One of the biggest surprises of the startup experience so far has been the pleasure of owning. I am not talking about owning a multi-million dollar company or any company for that matter. I am talking simply about making something when there was nothing there before and putting your name on it. It’s not a matter of perceived or objective or any other type of value that can be put on the the thing you are making, it’s just a private joy of building, identifying with and taking pride in what you’ve build.
I am not a stellar programmer, and I have not written that much code in my lifetime. But even when I did write something it was never my own. And now, for the first time, what I write is mine, and that is somehow a very different experience.