Getting back to tinkering

By | | 2 minute read

I’m finding it harder and harder to start new projects. Whenever I come across an idea that would be worth solving, I immediately start to think about how to scale it, monetize, implementing viral loops, niche markets etc … until eventually the idea goes away.

Me: Hello, my name is Miha, and I look at the world with product glasses.
Group: Hi Miha. Would you like to share?

I usually have a couple of ideas running around in my head. Starting a podcast. Starting a mailing list. Building an iOS app. An API service. Writing a book. Starting an opensource library. Or all of the above in one single project (no shit right). I might get as far as starting a github project and writing out a few markdown files, even some code, before ultimately stopping and eventually removing the repository, so that my github page does not look like a burial ground for young projects. You see, I always end up thinking about The Product. Spending the past several years working on toshl has spoiled me. Everything has to have a purpose, planned out to the nearest month.

I marvel at people who are capable of producing many products per year. Hell, even one per year is currently beyond me.

I look back at the years when I was just starting out. Tinkering with anything brought much joy to my life. Little things like trying out a new language or a new framework. I must have redesigned this site 5 times over the years. It has had at least three different backends in this time. All this was achieved with no general purpose in mind. No product, just trying out new stuff.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is: new projects scare me, because I know how much work it takes to make something great. But does everything have to be so fucking great? Well the boring answer is no. It might well lead to something great. But to get there, you just have to start with something small.

So the next project (HA!) is going to be all about tinkering. Screw this product stuff, just get back to tinkering. And you should too.