#006 Mubs

Discover the products that Mubashar uses to build his products and collab with others


Welcome to Maker Stacks, a new newsletter from the Product Hunt team where we interview a maker about their stack.

In today’s edition, we have serial founder and Product Hunt community veteran Mubashar Iqbal, known to the community as Mubs, who has launched over 100 side projects and earned 38 top product badges.

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Mubashar Iqbal

👋 Hey, I’m Mubashar, but everyone calls me Mubs. I was born in a small village in Pakistan, raised in England, and currently live in Upstate New York!

I recently started working on my own product studio, building products and working with others to ship their ideas. I’ve always loved working on side projects. I started in 2000 and have built over 100.

Much of my “day job” involved working under NDAs, so I can’t talk about them. This is one of the many reasons I worked on so many side projects.

My 80-plus launches on product hunt have received over 36k upvotes, and 38 earned top product badges. I’ve collaborated with over 30 fellow makers to turn their ideas into applications for the world to use.

Side projects I’ve worked on have gone on to receive over 20M visits, raise over $10m in funding, generate millions in revenue, and employ over 20 people. List of my side projects: https://iworkedon.com/@mubashariqbal


Mubashar’s Stack

Over 100 side projects built is impressive! How do you stay disciplined and focused to ship so much?

I’m lucky enough to do something for a living that I also enjoy doing as a hobby…building digital products. I’ve often used one to advance the other.

Learning new skills, collaborating with potential partners, etc. Also, when I first started, I was scratching my own itch, which made it easy to stay excited about shipping. Later, working with others, I remember the excitement of my first launches, and helping others do the same is very cool. 

You started shipping way back in 2000. Were there significant challenges you encountered, and any valuable lessons you’ve learned in that time?

Some of the biggest problems we have as makers are picking what to build, getting feedback, finding customers, and finding partners.

These can all be lessened by building in public. We are inherently social animals; it’s very easy for me to go into a cave and emerge a few weeks later with a working application, but after I started building in public, this has led to many great outcomes. It may not be the perfect solution, but I’ve yet to find anything else that works as well across the full spectrum of things we need to do.

You mention switching from VsCode to Zed. How do you select the tools in your stack, and what prompts you to switch, like in this case?

I always wanted a text editor that gets out of my way and lets me write code as quickly as possible. This is the reason that I generally stay away from fully-fledged IDEs. While they offer some great features, I don’t find I use them that often, and they make the application slower.

VS Code has been great for me. A good balance between a raw text editor and IDE (with a few good extensions). The thing that attracted me to Zed is the speed, and a lot of the things that I enabled via extension are part of the core product. They seem to be building an editing experience for the future and just trying to recreate what existed before.

You collaborated with over 30 makers. What’s your philosophy for collaboration, and are there any tools that help you with it?

We’ve moved into an online, async world, but I think the best collaborations start with personal interactions. Always hop on a call (or meet IRL if possible) to understand who you might be working with and what they are like. I

typically like to start small and work on something that can be done in less than a month, which will really help find out if you want to continue the collaboration. This is also a good time to align on expectations and possible next steps if things work or if they don’t.

It can be a difficult conversation, but it is better to have it sooner rather than later. Using a shared doc to outline the scope of the project is a great way to get aligned on direction and purpose (Google Docs, anyone?). Later, a proper task manager comes in handy to keep everyone informed of what remains to be done before the project's launch (Linear is great for this).

38 top product badges is huge, congrats! How has Product Hunt impacted your career, and do you have any tips for new makers looking to launch?

Being a top maker on Product Hunt has led to many, many great opportunities. People have seen my collection of products and see someone who can ship top products very quickly. It’s the best resume I can hope to show people.

This has resulted in many collaborations that have turned into companies (still running), jobs, projects we’ve sold, and, best of all, fun projects to work on!