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Jason Leow ~
Jason Leow ~

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Side projects I wouldn't build in 2021

Not all side projects are created equal. Some are just over-done, to hell. Don't do it.

Learning coding by doing is one of the better ways to pick up coding. Code newbies are often advised to choose a side project and then use it as a vehicle to learn your programming language or framework of choice. Even experienced devs have side projects, as a way to tinker and learn new tech.

But not all side projects are created equal.

Some are just over-done, to hell. Here’s a list of things I wouldn’t build myself in 2021 and some suggestions on what's worth building instead, and why:

Todo apps

Generalized todo apps are the chairs in the design industry. Every designer wants their own spin on the chair, so does every developer. It’s saturated and boring. But perhaps todo apps can work in super niche work situations where tracking the tasks is important, like say a factory, or distributing meds at a hospital.

AI-powered copywriting app

Since GPT-3 opened up access, generalised copywriting apps powered by GPT-3 had been popping up every week. It's done to hell, and it's becoming a commodity. Instead of using the AI for general copywriting, how about for specific, niche use cases and industries? Like say short-form tweets for Twitter.

Remote job boards

The pandemic basically threw the world into remote work, and remote work job boards are flowering like wild weeds. Probably better off not making a general one, unless you belong in an industry or vocation where there’s a gap, like say digital is not common yet, open roles are still spread by word of mouth, and/or matching candidates to employers is hard.

Free icon pack

Frontend devs/designers, just don’t. Besides icons, also trending are free packs of illustrations and Figma/Sketch templates. Just. Don’t. Unless it’s part of a larger marketing strategy, free design packs are so commoditized they are almost worthless. Some exceptions could be (again) super niche use cases. Like say illustrations for healthcare/medical apps. But you probably really need to understand the industry to come up with something original and in demand.

What else wouldn’t you build in 2021? What would you build instead?

Follow my daily writings on Lifelog, where I write about learning to code, goals, productivity, indie hacking and tech for good.

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