This is a good follow up for your recent post about how you do it for five years or don’t it, that was a good read too.
You’ve concentrated mostly on startups. I have some stuff to add to it, my experience as a partner in a startup and being an employee at a few startups, funded and non-funded both.
First of all, I couldn’t agree more. I haven’t worked on any project for five years. Hell, I don’t even have formal experience of five years. But I couldn’t agree more with you because I’ve seen people spending a lot of time on their ideas, throwing a lot of money into their startups, and one fine day, when the bars in the graph don’t go high enough, they just give up. Now, I’m not saying they are idiots. There definitely are various reasons for them to call quits. In the case of funded startups, the cash flow into the company stops. And once that news gets out, nobody else wants to fund you. There’s very less you can do about it if you’ve already spent all your reserves on it yourself.
On the other hand, we all have side projects, be it software developers, writers, musicians, what have you! We all start that project with an idea, of how it might us or somebody else and how it could make an impact. But a couple of weeks into it, excuses start popping up, quite naturally, which make it seem reasonable to not spend time on the project for just one day. That quickly snowballs and before you know, the last code commit to that project was over a month back, or you don’t even remember where you left off with that story. This has happened with me too.
I’m not sure why this happens. Maybe we are too comfortable with our full time gigs which make us enough money to have a pretty comfortable life, or we find a new, interesting hobby and we want to find out more and spend time on that. Or we get entangled in some personal soup. Whatever the reason, this transition takes place almost naturally.
I guess I went off topic, but what I’m trying to say, I guess, is that you need to have that mental strength to promise yourself that no matter what, you are going to spend enough time on this project and see it through. No matter the outcome. Even if you get one or two forks on GitHub, its better than not having that repo at all. I guess I’m writing this to make at least myself not quit on my projects and spend some quality time on it.
Good post. Loved it! :)