2021-03-18 - Side projects, indie hacking, and enjoying coding
Hi people of the Internet, it's been a long time! The truth is, since I joined 360Learning, I did not have so much time to write. No, I would not be honest saying that. I really did not have any ideas of what to write about. And you know what, I have new ideas! So today, let's talk about my desire to build side projects.
A first foot in freedom
When I was in college, I wanted to work on projects that would interest me. No more boring school projects, but nice projects with end-users and team work. As a long-time linux fan and computer related stuff tinkerer, I wanted to work on open source projects. But actually, I never did that. Why, you would ask? Because everything appeared to me like big projects with a lot of people, a lot of already written code, and I did not have any idea of where to begin.
Two years before graduation though, I got an email (or maybe I heard someone talk anout this, not really sure anymore) where something called Les Entrepreneuriales was described. It was kind of a program to learn about entrepreneurship. I got hooked on that, and with the help of a great friend (Enzo, I you read this, thanks for teaming up with me), I worked on a simple video game as an MVP for the final round of the competition. We ranked 4th, and we were very happy about it!
Winter in London
Fast forward to the end of college. I had a six month internship to do. I wanted to work in a foreign country (did I mention that I am French?) and I went to London, England. There, I worked for a small startup aimed at restaurateurs. They were great times. Tough code wise but I learned a lot. Hard language wise but I leaned a lot too. And we got snow. After that, I went to the United States for a six month exchange and came back having graduated. I worked in different companies and I am now working at my present gig.
Kobumi and my own code
Okay, actually I did not tell one thing. During the autumn and winter before coming at 360Learning, I wanted to taste for real the sweet pleasure of creating something from scratch. I wanted to start my own company, Kobumi. Thirsty for adventure, my eyes facing the sun, I was ready to fight and create and overcome the difficulties. You know what? It did not work out. Blinded by the product I wanted to create, I did not think about product market fit. And, same as before: You know what? Six months after the beginning, I lost my motivation. But now, this is the past. And I think I have learnt a lot of things with this. First, I need to reach out potential clients before writing a single line of code. I need to figure out what are their pain points, and how I could help them. Second, I need to be sure I have a market, and when I say market I mean clients who want to pay. To do that, I intend to create landing pages for my future products with a form to pay, even if the product does not exist and I refund the money. The key is this: be sure that someone wants your product and wants to pay you for it.
Listening of the voices of the ancients
During the last weeks, I read a lot about side projects and indie entrepreneurship. Making thing small and simple. Bootstrapping. Trying things and correct them after. I want to go on that path and see what could come. If you are interested, here are some sources:
- indiehackers: international community
- indiemakers: french podcast
- artisan développeur: french blog & podcast
- alex west: indie hacker
- tinyprojects: indie hacker
So I don't have a big idea right now, but I think it's fine. Because I don't need to make big projects. I just need to work on small things that I like. If something comes up for my thinking, I'll try to talk about it here, so stay tuned! Or maybe not, I don't want to commit to something for now :p