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Side Project Motivation (part 2)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 03:16 PM

I’ve actually made enough progress on my side project to say I have a working proof of concept. This isn’t a prototype or a “minimum viable product” It’s a “Yes, this will work.”

I’ve been thinking about MVP and recently read an article about that dubious term. “MVP” gets batted around in product teams and start-ups trying to adhere to the Agile development methodology. It means just what it sounds like: do the least amount possible of work to make your product and ship it. Because ship it! Ship it! Ship it! And while I agree that getting your project out the door right away is important, the problem is that by focusing too much on “minimum” is a lack of focus on what the actual end result was supposed to be in the first place. One of my favorite points in that article is to not forget the word “viable.”

[Y]our Minimum Viable Product should provide one COMPLETE FOCUSED EXPERIENCE to your early adopters.

To go along with that is a great image from the Spotify team:

That is why I’m calling my work right now a proof of concept. The code and the current result both are not viable. But now I need to hone in on what is viable. I have all these ideas of what I want to do with this side project, but I should focus in on what is important first. The bare minimum, done very well. I need to make the one core function work and work well in a way that I can build upon. Not a couple of important pieces sort of work.

From the motivation standpoint, I’ve had to be really good about getting a daily task list written down each day to tackle each little piece. Even if a piece is simply “port the temp JSON structure to a database table.” Anything else right now for me is just flailing.

I went down a bit of a rabbit hole late last week learning some new ways for me to streamline my project production path. It was great because it will make all my work for clients in the future much easier to manage. Once those processes were in place, I had to rein myself back in from doing all the other cool automation stuff I was brainstorming because they aren’t important yet.

I feel like now that I have something to work with things will pick up a bit more in the motivation department. I can feel a good groove coming on, now that I’m adjusting from taking most of the summer off.

(By the way, I currently have openings if you’re looking for someone to create a website for you, or if you need a front-end developer to work with.)


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