I am loving the current series of Dilbert cartoons that are being produced right now because they speak deeply to my own personal process of coming up with projects to work on.
Some of these projects stay “indie” – small personal projects that may or may not produce any revenue (and that’s not the ultimate goal, ever) while others actually give birth to larger ventures.
Just read these three strips:
The strip is continuing on and now Wally has been promoted to a leadership role. I’m sure, at some point, he’ll “quit” because of some realization, but, I’m enjoying it so much.
The point can get lost really quickly, though, so I’ll succinctly point out that my history of building stuff has always revolved around personal need; things that I could use today to help my life become a little bit more streamlined or simpler or easier.
Many of these things are not, in and of themselves, groundbreaking or “innovative” – in fact, many of them (most of them) could be simply classified as “vitamins” instead “painkillers” as startup and product folks like to say.
Which means that most of these things can never scale into a really big business and I’m quite fine with that. Examples of this include indie projects like Desk App or mnml app or even these very experimental projects like this one that’s doing a lot of pageviews (and a little revenue).
On occasion, some of these ideas do scale into something more significant, like what I’m working on over at Pinpoint. Same fundamental starting point (i.e. building something that I personally need) but the potential for larger scale application and business-building is more obvious and exciting.
But they are my “coffee warmers” – they start simple, small, with humble beginnings. And then I let “fate” take it where it needs to head. Oftentimes, the introduction of new folks to the creative table is what’s most needed.
And that’s probably the most exciting part about it all. Getting to work with great people is what gets me up in the morning. It always has been and it always will be that way. Coffee and all.
[BTW… I’m looking for a few more people to join me on Pinpoint… read more here about this neat internship opportunity…]