A "quite niche" side project

An unexpected benefit of lockdown is that I’ve had time for side projects. This is partly a function of not having a daily commute, but I’ve also had more brainspace than normal. I’m less physically and mentally exhausted at the end of the day and have more space to think outside of work, eating, and sleeping.

That’s led to a whole smorgasbord of side project ideas, mostly on the ridiculous end of the spectrum. I enjoy them as a creative outlet and so I’ve been working on a few simultaneously, one of which I’m genuinely excited about. Today I’m launching one that was described by my partner as “quite...niche” when I explained it to her. It’s very focused on solving a small problem that only occurs once or twice a year and should be unnecessary within the next few years.

Introducing PrintStamp. A few weeks ago, I was figuring out how to submit a claim with my travel insurance provider for a cancelled trip as a result of coronavirus. It seemed relatively straightforward, except I had to print off a claim form and send it by post. I don’t have a printer at home. Lockdown in the UK had just started so I couldn’t use the printers at work, and a message to our neighbours on WhatsApp ascertained they also don’t have printers.

So this is the problem PrintStamp solves. You upload a document and we’ll print and post it for you. You pay per document and I’ve tried to make it as simple and painless as possible. There’s no account creation or monthly plans. You can choose from a few different Royal Mail postage options (include tracked and signed for) and that’s about it. It’s much easier than buying a printer, finding a local printing shop, or pretending you’re printing off important documents at work.

The best thing about building PrintStamp has been diving into the burgeoning “no code” universe. Since I was last working on side-projects 5+ years ago, this movement has grown hugely and I was able to build basically all of PrintStamp using no more code than needed to edit a MySpace profile back in the day. Sure, my partner described it as “looking homemade” when I showed her, but that’s good enough for me. PrintStamp is mainly a combination of Carrd and Stripe, both of which are impressively straightforward to get up and running.

Chances are you’re never going to need PrintStamp. But maybe, just maybe, one day you will. And if you get really bored and want to add a link to it from your homepage, blog or other well-ranked world wide website using keywords like “print document online”, who am I to say you shouldn’t...