Build Your Academy is/was a "Developer Advocate in a box." The ideas was to develop tools, processes, and systems for small companies (1-30 employees) with a developer oriented product.
While working on React Native School we gained a lot of experience and developed systems to efficiently create high quality, value packed developer education content and wanted to make that more generally available.
Tweets like this were also instrumental:
Free Startup Idea - "X University as a Service"— swyx (@swyx) October 21, 2020
A lot of companies want "universities" - tutorials that serve as onboarding, training, and content marketing. Yet it takes video production skills that every company is building inhouse. Offer it as a service, with nice frontend. pic.twitter.com/IUtjOFgqGg
The concept was a "Developer Advocate in a box". To provide the role of a Developer Advocate before you were able to hire a dedicated one for your product.
Many of your favorite developer tools have dedicated teams of advocates. That's why their documentation is so amazing. Why you know about them. Why their getting started guides are great.
These people have immense experience building software and teaching others to do the same.
It's a unique and learned skilled that is hard to emulate when you're juggling building your core product, raising money, etc.
We wanted to bring our experience in to help fill the gap until you can hire a dedicated developer advocate to take over those responsibilities.
We were going to take a top down approach for Build Your Academy meaning that we were going to start with a high-end done-for-you approach and eventually work down market to provide our systems as a product.
Initially we were very excited about this (and still are). Not only to help projects get more established but also to, selfishly, get to learn more exciting new tech.
Unfortunantely, it just wasn't feasible to add this product on top of our current ongoing projects. Content production can be very challenging and time consuming.
We intend to come back to this project some day.