The outdoor community is full of people who have turned their passion for the outdoors into a marvelous product or service. Most often their journeys are filled with lessons that can inspire and help us through our own journeys. is one of those examples we can learn from. Here is their story and the lessons they learned as they developed their own app.

One day, Robert McMillan, creator of, sat back and wondered how he was going to archive the great book of camping memories he had. He was an avid camper and had always had a passion for the outdoors. It was also something his family loved to do with him. He had years of adventures and memories  but no good place to store them.

Robert didn’t simply want a place to store or post photos, he wanted a secure and organized place where he could store photos, journal entries, trip and memories in a way that would allow him to relive it all over again. That’s when he decided to create his own app. 

As he was laying out the plan he thought, “why does this have to just be for me?” and decided he would turn his idea into a free tool anyone could use to save their outdoor memories. And so, was born.

While we can now benefit from the free service he created for the outdoor community, where we benefit most is from the lessons learned throughout the process. Let’s explore the lessons they learned through this process.

Great products start with a problem but are fueled by passion

Most successful brands start because there is a problem that needs to be solved. Sometimes this is a glaringly obvious problem while other times, people didn’t even know they were experiencing a problem that could be solved. 

Osprey, Kuju coffee, and Kammock are among several other brands who started with an individual’s personal frustration that had to be satisfied. They decided they needed to solve this problem for their own personal needs, and ended up building something wonderful.  

However, if it wasn’t for their passion for the outdoors and their motivations behind it, these products would have never made it into our hands. Bringing any product or service that can help  the general public is great, but it brings a series of challenges and frustrations. Passion is required to push through until you’ve accomplished what you’ve set out to do.

Just because you build it, doesn’t mean they will come

There are many great ideas that have failed overtime. Creating a great product or service that can help many people is a wonderful thing, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will automatically flock to it. 

Unless you’re building a divinely inspired ark or a field of dreams, the building phase is only the first part. Once that is done, you will need to put in the effort to get your product in front of others. 

It doesn’t matter if you pass things along through word of mouth, do promotions, are an extensive networker, or are physically putting your product in the hands of the users. What matters is that you get up and do it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working on bringing a innovate product to an international market or working on a passion project, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all that will need to be done. Sometimes things move really fast and you feel like you can’t keep up. Other times things go so slowly you feel like you’ve already failed. And there are plenty of moments where you simply don’t know what to do or you have to do so much that you feel like throwing in the towel.

During these moments it’s important to take a breath and simply focus on the next step. 

There will always be what if’s and unknowns, but when we take one step at a time a time, overtime you will find that you are getting closer and closer to your destination.

You need to find great people to join you along the way

As we have already discussed, bringing an idea or product to life can be a challenge. And as humans, we unfortunately have finite time, energy, resources and are only good at so many things. One person can only do so much by themselves. 

If you want to work on something big, it may require some help along the way. This help comes in many forms:

  • Great employees/contractors
  • Partners (business and personal)
  • People who share your vision
  • Great customers who love your product as if they created it themselves

Finding great people sometimes happens on accidents while other times you have to be intentional. One thing is for sure, when you try to do something big on your own, it because an uphill battle.

It’s all worth it in the end

Building something takes patience, dedication and hard work, but it’s so worth it in the end. Whether you are bringing a product to market, starting a new business, innovating new technology, or starting a personal passion project, it will have its up and downs. 

You will have frustrations. There will be times when things just aren’t working out the way you anticipated. Things will constantly move at an unexpected pace. And sometimes there are moments when you think you’ve gotten in over your head. 

When these moments come, remember that it will all be worth it at the end. The moment your is complete, you will look back with gratitude that you never gave up. 

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