Throughout my life, I’ve had many, many side projects, Content Management systems, social networks, website builders, frameworks, various API’s and so on. 95% of them have one thing in common, they’re rotting in a private Repo somewhere.
I literally have thousands of hours of work sitting in repo’s and although they were each a great learning experience (I always try to learn somthing new with new projects) they were meant to be the next big thing.
Now, they are not sitting there because I couldn’t make profit, or I could’nt get traction… Because I never got that far, I never released them.
This all came to light when I was asked about how to do drag and drop functionality from a technical aspect. I knew in one of my projects I did research and created prototypes of the different methods in which you can achieve drag and drop. So I searched through my backups (from the time before I used repo’s)… Nope, I searched through bitbucket, I searched through gitlabs and finally found it in my GitHub account… “But damn, I have created a lot of projects” I thought
So why out of the 40+ projects, have I only officially released and marketed two? Which were essentially forced by deadlines
I constantly search for the perfect solution.
I constantly worry and code for scalability
I constantly think of another exciting feature that just needs to be in the MVP
And then when I’m there, and it’s essentially ready to release, I’ve either burnt myself out, got bored of the idea or theres the next idea needs to be built, and as a developer that’s always going to be more interesting than marketing, plus it doesn’t come with the fear of failing.
Rinse and repeat the above for years, and that’s how you end up with 40+ unreleased nearly finished projects.
Why am I telling you this?
First, I hope if you see a familiarity in the above, you can take steps to change your path. If being an indie maker or doing side hustles to produce extra income is what you desire then it oftens works out better if you release a product.
Second, maybe how I solved this for myself can help you solve it for your self.
The solution I used
I released a tiny project that wasn’t ready. It was simple and very pointless. If you must know it was a API called ‘truthy’ it essentially returned a Boolean based on whether the input was truthy or not. (1, yes, affirmative, ofcourse, true, y etc).
This was a massive step for me, I’ve always been worried about providing value, now I’ve lowered my benchmark so far that anything I do is more value and I released truthy, so why not x?
Critism? Yea got a load of it… It’s the internet, no matter how much value you provide you’re going to have haters…
It worked. Since the release of truthy, I’ve been going through my old projects pulling out ‘value’ and releasing it to the wider world, I’ve actually got customers paying me for it and a ton of people using the free tier’s (just providing value to people is enough payment for me haha).
Have you got a similar experience? I’m interested to hear. Let me know the in comments 🙂