Once upon a time in 2014, a guy who I am wholesale stealing from came up with an idea to launch one side project per month to get better at finishing his projects. He was inspired by someone else, so pass the torch, I’m about to do the same thing. I don’t really have a problem learning new things, I already know how to make web apps. My problem is finishing. I usually get distracted or run out of steam before I get around to launching something. That’s about to change.
Having a bunch of code sitting around on my computer is actually losing me money because no one knows about my project. So most of my time each month will be spent on marketing and just generally getting the word out. To the right people hopefully. Of course I’ll post it to the usual channels, subreddits, hacker news, indie hackers, and product hunt. I’m also going to attempt to get press attention by sending some carefully crafted emails to journalists who care about the project I’m building.
The more time I spend crafting the perfect code is time wasted. No one cares about perfect code, they don’t care if I use spaces or tabs. They don’t even care if I write all of the code in one big file. They certainly don’t care what language I use or if I write each project in assembly or machine code. In fact it’s better to write less code and get a project shipped quickly to get feedback and to see if anyone even cares, thank goodness there’s a hard limit of a month, otherwise I might slip into old bad habits and keep writing code.
I like a monthly release schedule because it helps to put things in perspective. My latest side project is just that, a side project with zero traction. In order to find out what people want, I can’t just ask, that’s not how it works. Showing people something, getting a tepid response and then moving on to the next thing is much, much better to do monthly than to wait years until launching something. I’m increasing my luck surface area by rolling the dice 🎲 12 times a year.
I’ll also be blogging and tweeting about my progress every day. The first project for the month of January is outsidelist, a list of the most inspiring, natural places. So let me know what you think, and sign up to get notified when it ships. It’s going to be a wild and crazy ride. Strap in.