Finishing

The codebase is sitting here on my machine, and the rendered pages are unseen by everyone except for a few of my closest – my girlfriend, my best friends, and a couple of coworkers I’ve enthusiastically invited to participate in an early beta. It’s my side project. It’s not done. I don’t know when I’m going to finish it. I don’t know if I want to finish it.

This cycle seems to repeat itself two or three times a year. I get the spark, and I’m off. I design and code until I can’t any more. My mind races, the thinking never stops. It preempts thinking about my (very awesome, and mindshare-intense) full-time job’s responsibilities. The thought of what problems could be solved is an addiction, and the only fix is working. So I worked.

And, eventually, I thought it was good. So I put live what a lot of people would call an “MVP”. (Though I don’t really believe in the MVP concept, I thought it was good to invite some people to play and give some feedback).

There’s was some usage, though it was nothing exciting and it was nothing like what I had wanted. I don’t know what I expected. The feedback was useful, but it was almost unwelcome – at that point, I thought, “these ideas aren’t mine”. Releasing something minimally viable wound up discouraging me more than if I had just kept it to myself. I was done, but not finished. The code sat for weeks, the spark was lost.

Then, fireworks. A discussion with a friend lead directly to the “big idea” I didn’t have in the early stage of the project. Over a weekend, a complete redesign emerged. Is redesigning a way of reclaiming what I never actually lost? I changed the name and paid another $55 domain fee, the third time I’d done so for this project. I plotted the roadmap, and the cycle began again. I coded, I didn’t stop. I thought about it because I couldn’t not think about. I was back on it.

Now, it sits in front of me (well, behind this story that I’m writing now) 90% done, and I’m feeling those fireworks start to fade. Why does it happen? What is so hard about that last 10%? I have no problem getting my “work” done – but this is personal. This project is me, it’s not a “startup” or a “business”. Where does my passion go when channeling it should be at its easiest?

Maybe it’s the addiction - the rush of solving, getting most of the way there. The real payoffs: a launch; some extra monthly cash; a little recognition; and most of all, a finished product – things you should look forward to – aren’t inspiring me in the same way.

But fuck that: I need to get the hell over myself, push through, and finish. And I think I really will, this time. The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?

I hope you enjoyed this blog post. It’s not the only one! Please enjoy reading another from the list of selected posts below. You can see all my posts here.

How much does it cost to sell stuff online?

Looking at the current state of consumer ecomm fees.

Respre

Introducing a new tool for Responsive Design.

Anxiety Debt

Mental overhead from our digital social lives is getting us down.

Three from Last Week

Company retreats, client projects and babaganouj.

For the Love of the URL

A love letter to the endangered visible URL.

The Internet is a Mirror

Reminding myself that the internet is what you make of it.

This Website

Consider this my "About" page.

Fall

Motivation, cold weather, and moving to New York City.

Finishing

The journey can be so addicting, I might never arrive.

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