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’d 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?