This topic is heavily on my mind as I am trying to spend more time breathing life into my side-project - a fitness themed social app. Specifically, how to not get lost in the not-yet-important details and focus on making substantial progress towards implementing the critical minimal feature-set; making sure that this feature-set adequately captures the essence of the intended user experience and getting a version in the hands of some early users (i.e. friends).
Once I have some user feedback I can start making iterative improvements, and then this whole thing snowballs into next unicorn startup right? I'm pretty sure that's how this works. Either that or I'll just continue to have fun developing this idea while expanding my skill set.
It will be a worthwhile time either way.
Besides the obvious effort of regularly dedicating time, I've found that I also have to keep an eye out for those sneaky little productivity killers that try to mask themselves as productive items on my to-do list. Things like
- Implementing an authentication solution from scratch instead of taking advantage of the many well supported open source oauth libraries
- Revisiting UI designs over-and-over instead of moving forward with one that is good-enough-for-now
- Spending too much time evaluating PaaS options looking for the one that will best support a user base that I may never obtain
- Learning a once-source-code-to-rule-them-all framework for building multiple platform mobile applications when I can instead leverage my existing expertise in browser-based technologies
Yes these are all things that feel like productivity but I must remember to ask myself - Is this really the most appropriate option to help move the MVP towards the next milestone?