Longtime reader, first time writer :)
Some years ago as a recent graduate of university, I was working for Citrix in my first serious position of employment, updating the installers for their XenClient XT product (now OpenXT). Smart phones were beginning to truly reach their stride in how useful/powerful they could be. Advertisers were toying with interactive ads via the use of NFC & QR codes. And a recent move from academic pursuits into working on a security based project got me thinking...
"I wonder what it would take to log in with a QR code?"
I scratched down some ideas, looked into it a little from a feasability perspective and then quickly forgot about it. I had a job, other things to do/not much time and a lack of confidence in my ability to build what I'd need. Aside from sitting in my list of "ideas I once had" and occasionally reminding me of that time I thought "It would be cool if..." the project was on ice for a few years.
Then came a period of unexpected unemployment. For the first time in a long time I had a large window of time with no plans on how to use it. I found myself once again looking at my list, but this time with the idea of shortening it instead of lengthening it.
Out of all of the terrible/good ideas in the list the QR logon app caught my imagination again. How many times had I been in a hostel over the last few years using one of their computers lamenting the fact I had no good password management solution?
By the time I had my next professional project lined up, I had used the experience gained over the previous years to build a working prototype - an idea made reality, ready to use whenever I wanted!
The next goal was to refine until I felt ready to share my idea with the world. This part was probably the most difficult! Finding a balance between wanting your release to be perfect & knowing which problems actually don't need to be fixed is no easy task. Nor is balancing professional and personal projects time wise!
But today as I write this, QRGoPass is live. 7 people in the world are using my app and I couldn't be happier with this little success.
- Keep a list of your ideas - it's great for nostalgia and you never know when you might find yourself with the time and skill improvements needed to implement one!
- Be persistent - small progress is still progress, give it time and you'll eventually succeed
- Target a minimal viable release - learn how to say "good is good enough"