I've had this on my mind for a while, but saw https://dev.to/madza/how-do-you-deal-with-half-finished-projects-3jcp and it insprired me to write it down;
For a long time I've had a ever building list of half-started projects. Always over-ambitious, always lacking direction and always getting stuck (since I always seemed use them as an excuse to try new tech too)
Nowadays I've promised myself not to get into them at all, because I've found that by myself I don't have all the tools needed to complete side projects and will always end up sinking so much time, effort and mental energy into something I'll sadly abandon.
I'm just a programmer, the only reason I finish anything professionally is because of good project managers, financial & time pressures from clients, and the fact that there's other projects waiting to start.
I think you need a minimum of three people. The obvious win with three people is a lot of self-indulgent ideas don't stand up to outside scrutiny, but as well I think we need three specific roles covered by three separate people:
💹💲🎁 The client/business owner/product owner role
Someone with a high level business & feature perspective.
They can spec out whats actually required/important & understand paths to profit.
🕕🩺🤍 The Project manager/producer role
Someone who can manage time-frames & priorities & morale.
They understand that time, mental effort & emotional effort (if not directly financial) carry heavy costs.
👷♀️👩💻 The Coder/Builder role
Someone to actually build the thing.
(You and me probably)
Even better if 1. & 2. are not technical.
This applies if you're spending a lot of time on it, or even if all three of you only commit a few hours a a week to it.
Programmers so often view themselves as entire islands capable of shifting the world on their own, but I think that it's a really uncomfortable weight to put on yourself and don't believe its setup to succeed.
Having these roles owned by separate people;
☑ Makes responsibilities so much clearer.
☑ Which allows for a more equal mind-share/ownership of different parts of the project.
☑ And It stops you feeling overwhelmed, overworked & stressed at all the different aspects you'd otherwise have to juggle yourself.
The next time I work on a side-project, it'll be after three of us think its a good idea and we can each fit into the roles above.
I'm pretty confident we'd have fun, complete it and make money on it.
What do you think?
Has anyone here completed substantial side projects on their own? How did you do it?