Breaking the Fizzle Pattern
For many years, I've been pursuing side project ideas in my limited free time. This always follows the same pattern: I get excited, I get started, and then everything fizzles and I forget about it until the next interesting thing comes along. Every once in a while, though, one of those projects sticks the landing. I've accumulated a few successes: a forum with a small but very dedicated user base, a handful of web-based utilities that do a simple job reasonably well, a partially-completed technical book that actually sold some copies, and a few YouTube videos here and there. I also feel accomplished in my photography hobby, having taken several thousand photos across various themes and collections.
But there are many projects along the way that are either dead or on life support. Several open source projects, a whole plan I had for underwater drone videography, a bunch of Raspberry Pi-based concepts, a plan for actually selling my photos, and many more. It would be nice to be able to resurrect and complete some of these, or move on to fresh projects that could be more valuable to people.
With a family and a software development day job, it's hard to justify spending time on such projects. I'm lucky that I don't also have to deal with a big commute - I'm able to work 100% remotely, a privilege available to very few people, even in the shadow of Covid. But life has a way of making it hard to know where to focus, while also running the batteries dry.
This is why I've started a Ko-Fi page where people can kick in on my various projects and open-source initiatives.
I need to break the fizzle pattern. A recurring dollar amount attached to these hobby projects might help me concentrate my focus, restrain me from distractions, and let me stick the landing more often. Plus, feedback from supporters provides a stronger signal on specific problems I can help solve.
That's where you come in. If you feel there's value in some of my projects, like Photo-a-Day-for-a-Year, YouTube videos, web utilities like Deref.link, or open source projects that I contribute to like the Sculpin static site generator, please consider supporting me so I can focus on delivering more of that value.
Published: November 7, 2022
Tags: projects, news, entrepreneur