I suffer from idea overload. It seems that every day I have an idea for something. As a developer, I’m lucky in that to be able to take an idea to inception very quickly. Best of all, I can show it at inception stage to a huge audience (if I had one), garner feedback and quickly iterate on that idea. To date, I’ve mainly created these by myself – a casualty of doing paid work in the main like this too.
Most of these ideas in the have been simple hacks – solutions to things that bug me. One of them has been a proper business too. I’m able to do something and make it happen, to potentially tap a huge audience. Get them to that first step. The problem I have is, not a single one of these so much as turns a profit, though they serve as wonderful educational devices for me. I would hazard a guess that some of them have indirectly got me work.
Some of my ideas never get past the domain registration phase before being knocked on the head. A friend many years ago gave me the great quote that ‘My domains are my todo list’. This totally hits the nail on the head for me – if I’ve felt like an idea was good enough to make it to the registration phase, there’s something there worth pursuing. Unfortunately, I have quite a long list to work through.
I heard it said that “The Developer Dream” is that we (developers) “build a product/service which we’re able to earn a living from”. But the majority of developers I know, don’t even begin to pursue the ideas they have. This surprises me.
There seems to be such an abundance of opportunities that I can’t imagine not building my own ideas, however bad they might seem to others.
Why hold back? Time? Yes, we have other commitments – family, work and maybe even a hobby or two. I’m not suggesting we make drastic sacrifices or sell our kids in order to create stuff. I would however, like to think that the payoff for building our ideas might make our initial holdups seem insignificant longer term. I’ve said it before and I can’t speak from as the voice of successful experience, but what do I get out of never trying?