What's your problem?
Starting a project is the hardest part.
When starting a project I want to simply start coding or building. I have done it many times and wasted a lot of time and code. For example; I have a great idea, let’s make an app where you can post information and pictures about yourself, update your friends on what you are doing and message people… Oh wait… that is a social network and a million of those exist already.
I like to build things, I like to code, I like to work alone on my computer.
Work generally pays off in one way or another, sometimes it is just gaining knowledge or goodwill from helping someone out. Although, if it paid off in a recognized currency then that would be fantastic. To reach my goals I need to find something tangible.
- What are the needs in the groups I frequent without an ideal solution already?
- Which of these needs are niche enough that a small player like me can solve before a big corporation comes in and drops a dump truck of cash on the issue.
- If I do identify the need and a good solution how would I find people who would benefit from the solution and care enough to pay for it?
These are really tough questions. Really tough.
Because this problem is hard, my natural inclination is to assume I need to pursue this with academic means. For example, I should be learning and growing my development skills, and reading more books. While growing academically is not a bad thing, it doesn't answer the question of what I should do.
My challenge then is to find someone else’s small problem that I can help solve.
Yes, I will have to talk to people. Yes, I will be prepared for disappointment.
I will commit to being uncomfortable by trying to address the questions I have. I refuse to sales whore my past acquaintances and act like I want to talk with them when I really only want their money or help.
I will however ask successful people and others for advice and send messages to strangers until I find what I am looking for.