I have a new rule when it comes to making tech products.
Making things people want is not enough to keep me interested. Sure, some ideas can make you a lot of money, but is it very fulfilling? Any business takes a lot of time to grow, and I don’t think I would be capable of marketing something I’m not excited about.
Making things I want is necessary, but it’s also too broad of a statement when you have too many ideas. Building more than a dozen of products over the last two years, I came to the conclusion I need to build things I’m personally using - eating my own dog food is a necessity. But it’s still not enough.
My new rule is simple: make things you’d use daily.
It was inspired by a statement by @brianball in his article Daily or Forgetty: ”if you’re building something for people to use, make it daily”. I think it rings especially true to founders. If it’s not a project you can use and improve daily, your motivation will eventually burn out, or at least fade away.
The more skin you have in the game, the better. Use your product daily or don’t build it.
A direct consequence is that I’m going to reduce my number of side-projects. I’ll stop working on Ecovillage List and Testimonials Wall to give more time to 200 Words a Day, Sipreads, and Mindful Pomodoro.
I’ll also probably publish more Request for Products from now on. I have tons of ideas gathering dust in private Trello boards and note-taking apps which won’t abide by my new rule. Some people might be interested in building them, I’d be happy to share.