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Aleksandr Drobushevskiy
Aleksandr Drobushevskiy

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Why is it challenging for developers to launch their projects? Sharing personal experience.


My name is Alexander, and I’m a solo entrepreneur, formerly a Lead Software Engineer. Currently, I’m involved in launching and developing my third project — a Telegram bot for domain monitoring.

I want to talk about the fears that hinder developers and others from launching their projects. Some of these fears were present for me, and some still persist to this day. Often, I observe them in my acquaintances and close friends.

We try to hide our fears, mask them, and show them to no one. Let's talk about it openly; it is crucial to realize and start working on overcoming these fears to move forward.

Fear of failure

What if my project doesn't take off? There's this fear that I'll feel ashamed and awkward in front of friends or colleagues because it didn't work out. Especially when someone asks: "How's your project? Is it progressing?" I feel like people will start thinking I'm a failure.

This powerful fear exists only in my head, so why not reprogram myself to be seen by friends and colleagues as someone who is not afraid to try?
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Perhaps deep down, my acquaintances may criticize themselves for not starting something and being afraid to initiate. Through my actions, I can inspire them to start something and move toward their goals. If it doesn't take off the first time, it will on the second or third. There's nothing wrong with that, and there shouldn't be.

Need to learn a lot

It's true; you have to learn a lot. Learning should be gradual, systematic, and continuous. You need to create your learning plan and consume new information in small portions. There's no need to dive in headfirst. It's important to remember that knowledge, or more accurately, the aspiration for extensive knowledge, can negatively impact launching your product.
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I haven't written a line of code yet, and I'm already thinking about whether it's better to choose an Individual Entrepreneur or a Limited Liability Company. Or maybe I should first figure out how to attract investments. Solve tasks as they come, and don't do unnecessary work.

Lack of free time

In this case, similar to trying to engage in sports or start learning a foreign language, there's a shortage of time.

There's always time; you can allocate 30 minutes to 1 hour every day to your project. If you break down tasks into atomic parts that can be solved within 1 hour and solve one task every day, you'll see results in the form of dozens of completed tasks in a month.
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A systematic approach works well with time management. One hour a day, every day, preferably in the morning before work or daily responsibilities, while the mind is clear and not cluttered. All important and challenging tasks should always be done in the morning. In the evening, other tasks will come up, such as fatigue, the desire to relax, watch YouTube, and spend a few hours on that.

Upbringing and school

Childhood and school years leave subtle imprints on our subconscious. Personally, I received a dose of constraints from parents, relatives, and teachers during my childhood. Throughout my childhood, school, and university education, I was ingrained with certain attitudes. Sometimes it happened unconsciously and naturally from relatives.

  • "Without connections and acquaintances, you won't achieve anything in life. Let's get you a job at the power station where • Uncle John is the chief."
  • "You can't earn money through honest work. All entrepreneurs are thieves."
  • "Don't stand out and don't attract attention; just be like everyone else."
  • "Maybe you should stop messing around and find a regular job?"
  • I still remember my school teacher telling my mom that I wouldn't achieve anything in life. Image description It took me a long time to understand this. Why do adults say such things? Perhaps they are right; they have experience, and they are older than me, so I should listen to them. Nothing could be further from the truth; this is the most dangerous trap. Soviet power erased some important qualities from the people of that time, such as entrepreneurship and creativity.


For me, procrastination isn't scrolling through social media or watching YouTube videos. My procrastination looks like this: when I need to work on my project, finish the MVP, do marketing and promotion, or write articles to share my project, instead, I start inventing and implementing features and functionalities that are not needed at the moment.
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I haven't implemented protection against brute-force attacks in my project. Seriously, protection against brute-force when there are only a few users, including me, a friend, and my mom? Instead of writing an article and promoting the project, I spend several days programming and testing protection against brute-force attacks.

This happens because my brain resists learning, acquiring new knowledge, or doing mental work in which I lack experience. Brain learning requires more energy than routine activities.


Another disease and the cause of the demise of tens of thousands of startups. It manifests strongly when we polish the design of the website or product as if it's a beauty pageant. We spend weeks adjusting pixels and changing fonts or colors.

When we start rewriting code that was written a few months ago it now seems like bad code. We need to tidy up the code do it scientifically with patterns and adhere to SOLID principles, just as we like.
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When we overcomplicate functionality. When we polish the project to the point where the number of bugs is zero.

Open your task manager at your current job. I'm sure there are around 1000 tasks, some of which have been sitting there for several years. Nothing terrible is happening at work; users continue using the service, new users come, some leave, and life continues.

Can't find a job

After working on my startup, no one will want to hire me. I remember being afraid to post my resume for a PHP programmer position after 5 years of unsuccessful attempts to launch my web studio.

I thought that no one would want to hire a lone wolf who even looks into the forest when he's full. I was terribly wrong. If I ever have to build a team for a new startup, I would prefer people who have created their own products. These people are idea generators, hard workers, quick learners, and have decent soft and hard skills.
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Most likely, in 2–3 years, they will leave for greener pastures again once they improve their financial situation or develop a new project. Ask any HR how long, on average, a developer stays in one place? You might be surprised to hear the figure of 2.5 years.

By working on my project, I stagnate because there is no development; I don't solve complex problems and don't gain real experience on live projects. In addition, young specialists grow up and are already stepping on my heels. What if I become an obsolete specialist? At this point, the fear should intensify, and I go to the job market to check if my specialty is in demand and what hard skills were required.

Need confidence in tomorrow

Alright, the moment arrives when my pet project demands more of my time. Balancing the development of my project and work becomes challenging. The realization hits that I need to quit my job and dedicate all my free time to the project.

But what about my livelihood? Will my savings be enough, and for how long? Maybe I should save more money just to be sure? Here, I go through all the fears mentioned earlier as if they're performing a dance in my head. No matter how much you accumulate, it will always feel insufficient. There will always be a fear of running out of money, and an image pops up in your mind of cooking instant noodles on a heating pipe.
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In reality, this fear is unfounded. Humans adapt quickly to any environment. Expenses on unnecessary purchases and things are cut. Lavish trips to restaurants and bars cease. Opting for more modest accommodation or moving to a private house for fresh air is also a good idea. Yes, living frugally will be a fact.


Fear of being judged that my product is not good enough. That the product is raw, not thoroughly developed. Fear that I'll receive numerous negative ratings and comments. All of this eventually leads to paranoia about my weakness, incompetence, and intellectual backwardness and contributes to the development of various complexes.

I need to understand for myself that I'm launching a project to receive feedback and gather metrics. This is exactly what needs to be done. I need to learn to let negativity pass by and not pay any attention to it because a person on the other side of the screen might just feel ordinary human annoyance and envy since you are doing something and creating, and it's not about your product at all.
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An exercise that helps is to realize that you are not even acquainted with this person, and you will simply pass by on the street, and a few hours later, he will forget about your existence, just as you will about his.

Keep in mind that the Russian-speaking internet space is the most toxic. On English-speaking specialized platforms, more people leave positive comments and try to support.

Look at the reviews for cafes and restaurants. Usually, people write only negative reviews; few write positive ones if they like the restaurant. This applies to my posts on the internet. If I received several sarcastic or unpleasant comments, and overall, everyone else remained silent, it means the publication went well.

Fear of publicity

Wondering how I will appear in the eyes of others. What a terrible voice I have and those bags under my eyes in my video. No, kill me, but I won't publish a video with my face and voice. Even if I forcibly overcome this fear and publish a video, the first toxic or sarcastic comment might discourage me from making the next video or article.

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Judging my appearance or voice, my peculiarities - this is only in my head, and I am the one emphasizing it. Remember when was the last time you paid condemning attention to someone's hairstyle, appearance, or speaking quirks and when you directly told them about it? Now you understand that it's only in our heads?


We must work with our fears; they hinder us from being happy and doing what we want. The universal and magical remedy is a systematic approach and the fight against fear, through discomfort, through willpower. Fears are just limitations we impose on ourselves. Open the door to courage, and they will disappear.

Good luck.

My Twitter is where I share ideas and the process of working on my projects.

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