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Barin Britva
Barin Britva

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From the idea to the side project

(From my Medium - Jul 4, 2019)

A few times in my life I had ideas of projects which didn’t want to leave my head either during at day nor at night. I haven’t finished any of them yet, but I’ve gotten a lot of valuable experience that I’m planning to use in the near future. Here are several things I have noticed.

I guess it’s not a secret to anybody that any project must start from MVP. To do that you should imagine an application of your dream and then move all unnecessary features to the backlog. You can also compose a feature roadmap to specify iterations. Working on one of my projects I almost did it this way, but I ran into over-management — I started the project in Jira, created some releases, stories, sprints, etc. It was a huge mistake. I would recommend using a simple text file for a start. And the main point here is — you mustn’t be seduced to add any new features to your MVP, even if this feature is very small.

For instance, a simple desire to add nice small avatars for users may become a hard, long story about including third-party libraries, static files storing, validating of uploaded files and after all of that, you have to create crop image functionality. All the things that maybe not done mustn’t be done.

The second important point is the following: even if you managed to design minimum functionality and created a boilerplate of application it isn’t a victory yet. The situation when your free time for the project is not enough will come soon. You would like to relax sometimes at weekends but allocated two hours on a weekday may be wasted on ridiculous bug searching instead of development. That’s why it makes sense to take a break for a few months and work on your project in full-time mode. By the way, it’s a good possibility to check how powerful your faith in your own idea is. For example, my faith wasn’t strong enough in the last project.

And another paramount thing — the process can drag for a long time just because you may not know what to do next after the technical part of the product is finished. How to run the project in production, what are the markers of successful and unsuccessful launch, where I can get the investments? To get some orientation in the business part of products and get the basic knowledge about it you can go to a so-called “pre-accelerator”. There you will be able to meet with a curator who will help you with all these questions.

What’s next? I don’t know yet. But as soon I’ll know I will tell you.

Good luck with your ideas! 😉

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