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The inception of Refined

Finding clarity in my roadmap for 2024 and settling on a brand name for the development agency.

Two weeks ago, I announced the move into freelancing and building a development agency. The general roadmap and vision were outlined, but I hadn't yet determined the specifics.

Over the holidays, I've been busy planning the next steps, while diving into freelancing. This gave me some clarity, but it came with a few challenges.

Initial struggles

Starting with freelancing can be difficult, no matter how experienced you are. The approach was straightforward - start with a low rate and work my way up, building reputation and reviews along the way.

This was broken down into three steps:

Knowing the services I'd offer made the first step manageable. I signed up for a bunch of platforms, but the main bet was Upwork. Despite the advantages of other platforms, Upwork has the highest volume of jobs.

It was going well, until I hit a roadblock - running out of connects on Upwork. If you're not familiar with Upwork, connects are the currency used to apply to gigs. Most gigs range in cost from 8 to 20 connects, with only 10 free connects per month.

Connects price on Upwork

You can buy more connects, but the math doesn't add up. To maintain the goal of applying to 10 gigs daily, I'd have to spend $25/day on average, adding up to $750/month. Considering my low rate and high Upwork fees, I'd be losing money.

With this in mind, I shifted my focus entirely to the agency.


At the same time, I was planning the agency - coming up with a brand name, defining the ICPs and offer.

Having a good brand name is often overlooked. I wanted a name that would reflect the values of the agency and the way I approach work, while being short and memorable.

After a lot of brainstorming, I settled on Refined.

Unlike some other agencies, the main selling point isn't shipping as fast as possible. Refined stands for quality and delivering reliable products, without cutting corners.


So what can Refined do for you? For now, web MVPs built with Next.js, TypeScript, TailwindCSS, Supabase, and other technologies depending on the project.

The first 10 MVPs are set at $1000 each. Why is the starting price so low? I want to get the brand off the ground and build a portfolio of various projects. To me, this is far more important than profit in early stages.

Get your MVP

Next steps

With a clear roadmap in place, it's time to get into execution. I've set two primary goals for January:

I'll document the journey and sharing my progress in future articles and on Twitter.