Fun indie projects
I wrote in November that I’m taking a break from indie hacking, well, the break didn’t take long (2-3 months).
A break made sense at that time, because my project watchlimits.com wasn’t getting traction and I just changed jobs. New job presented a lot of new learning opportunities and as any change was somewhat stressful, so I didn’t want to overload myself and risk a burnout.
I am back in a not fully “serious” capacity. I am not doing any serious business right now. I have a bunch of promising ideas, but for now I’m exploring some pretty dumb ones.
I’m working on projects that I don’t plan to monetize and for which the main goals are having creative fun and learning.
Fun and learning » MRR
People have different motivations.
Often it’s about making money. Money can be a great motivator or a bad one. It’s a great one when it’s aligned with making something actually valuable for others. But it’s a bad one if you feel like it forces you to make the wrong choices.
There are many valuable things in life, we should focus on the ones most important to us in the moment. I have a full time job, which pays me well, but constrains me in terms of what I do and how I do it.
Being independent allows me to do things that don’t earn money, just because I want to do them.
So right now I am focusing on having fun and learning new things through my side projects. And I am serious about this. Fun and learning are the main goals, a little challenge or discomfort is fine, but no sustained grind.
My current priorities:
- being creative & playful
- building my craft skills - variety of stuff I can build and speed of prototyping
- shipping & sharing stuff
I would like to be able to do it forever. I think that the person who has the most fun wins and is least likely to burn out and give up.
It doesn’t mean that I will on purpose not try to make any money. Making money can be fun!
But I’m also ok with doing projects that have no monetary prospects at all and are just a fun, creative expression.
Expect new projects to spring up like mushrooms 🍄🍄🍄.
I’m ok to start a lot of things and to also abandon a lot of things if they don’t spark joy anymore.
🐢 Focus Turtle
Focus Turtle is a chrome extension that helps people focus by reminding them about their goal when they get distracted.
- Tailwind CSS
- do something cute and fun - creative outlet
- experiment more with the browser extensions
- get better at design, react, typescript, ux
- another digital asset that brings people into my orbit of my project ecosystem
- make something useful for other people
- have fun!
- making the focus turtle into a commercial product
With these goals in mind:
- I can spend time to do things right, there is no rush
- It’s ok to waste time being “inefficient” - I’m really bad at something it means I am outside of my skill comfort zone
- Things that push me into new directions / are a practical application of my skills win
- Don’t do things that feel like a grind
💓 Beat Focus
Beat Focus is a mobile app that let’s user play binaurial beats on a timer in a background when they need an extra focus boost.
- React Native
- I wanted an app like this as I like focusing for short bursts of time and would listen to binaural beats myself
- learn to develop apps with React Native
- Make something quick and simple but extensible
🏠 Aer Teach
Yet another Chrome Extension! This one was a group project developed during Dublin Air Quality Data Hack hackathon in late Feb 2023.
The idea there is to let you see pollution data right when you are looking for a place to buy or rent based on extensive new air quality data from Air Street View dataset.
So the extension is integrated with Daft.ie, the biggest real estate website in Ireland, the extension will display the relevant info, link to additional places to learn more every time user browses the listings. This is useful, because people might remember once to check the data about air quality, but forget the next time as they likely won’t have a habit. On top of it, it saves a lot of otherwise tedious work.
The pollution data is processed by a python backend behind a simple API.
We haven’t finished everything we wanted so it’s not published yet, but stay tuned.
Indie Hackers Dublin
So… I would like Dublin to have a more thriving Indie Tech Scene. I think that if the change you want doesn’t happen you can always roll up your sleeves yourself.
So I’m organizing a new community via MeetUp: https://www.meetup.com/indie-hackers-dublin/.
I’m excited about the first meetup that is happening later this week. I have 16 people who said yes and no real experience running meetup communities.
But hey, I’m a capable individual with lots of skills, I’ll figure it out.
So far this year (February), I have done 2 hackathons, one was a casual at my own place, the second one was the Dublin Air Quality Data Hack and I’m signed up for another one: Techstars Startup Weekend Women Dublin.
It is pretty thrilling, even though pretty exhausting.
My experience so far was great, it feels like I’m back in my early twenties.
Not yet started
And there is so much more…
Let’s give you a taste of domains I have bought recently:
- myweblimits.com <- this is for a new pivot of watchlimits.com
I also still have studytimer.org with nothing on it!
I think it’s important to know what game you are playing. Sometimes it’s scaling your business and persisting through setbacks. Sometimes it’s fun & exploration.
For now I will focus on having the most fun I can while keeping it sustainable and avoiding grinding myself down. So there will be a lot of things, but progress on any individual thing might be slow. I will also take days off work to compensate for intense hackathon or side project weekends to keep my overall load reasonable.
This choice has its tradeoffs. It’s the opposite of focusing and building momentum on a single project. I will do a lot of crappy things, I won’t have time to finish them off properly.
I expect that this free exploration phase will expand my horizons and will make me better at prototyping and getting things done (I will also have lots of code to copy paste from ;) )!
And if I find something very promising, I might switch back to the exploit mode and focus for real.