Daily Productive Sharing 139 - How to Pick A Good Side Project?

One helpful tip per day:)

(The English version follows)


尽管 side project 是一个很热门的话题,如何挑选一个合适的 side project 依旧是一个很大的挑战。独立游戏开发者 Ted Bendixson 分享了四条挑选 side project 的标准:

  1. 它能锻炼你的新技能;
  2. 它能帮你赚钱;
  3. 它能施展你的创造力;
  4. 它足够小;

我们的 Daily Productivity Sharing 正好符合这几条要求:

  1. 它帮助我们巩固阅读,增强我们写作/营销等能力;
  2. 作为增值内容的 Weekly Book Club 带来了一定收益,鼓励我们继续努力;
  3. 每期分享都经过挑选,加上我们自己的理解和感受;
  4. 每天花不到半小时准备。

如果你也想开始自己的 side project,可以参考以上四条标准。



What does a good side project look like?

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While side projects are a hot topic, picking the right side project is still a big challenge. Indie game developer Ted Bendixson shares four criteria for selecting a side project:

  1. a good side project teaches a new skill;
  2. a good side project makes you money while you sleep;
  3. a good side project is a vehicle for flexing your creativity;
  4. a good side project is limited in scope.

Our Daily Productivity Sharing fits all of these criteria:

  1. it helps us consolidate our reading and enhances our writing/marketing skills, etc;
  2. the Weekly Book Club as a paid product brings in some revenue and encourages us to keep working on it;
  3. each issue shared was selected, adding our own understanding and feelings.
  4. spending less than half an hour a day to prepare;

If you also want to start your own side project, you can refer to the above four criteria.

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What does a good side project look like?

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Had I never taken the initiative to develop products that make me money while I sleep, I never would have gotten my first high paying programming job.

No boss I have ever met wanted to spend money to train me up on new skills.

Whether you like it or not, if you want to get ahead in this business, you have to take the mantle of learning new skills upon your own shoulders.

It’s a lot of hard work. It’s not always fun or enjoyable. It means taking some risks. But the only other option, in my view, is career stagnation.

I went on job boards for iOS developers, looked at the desired list of skills, and then systematically went about developing the skills people were asking for.

If you try anything worthwhile, there’s a good chance you’re going to offend some people. It’s a part of the game.

If people are willing to pay money for your product, it means you have created something of value. By definition that means your new skills are valuable.

People who have autonomy in their careers are way more happy than people who don’t.

Here’s the takeaway: make sure your side project makes money because money gives you a greater degree of autonomy and autonomy makes you feel amazing.

Side projects are a wonderful space to exercise your human right to creative expression. You should do something interesting, remarkable, and unique.

Most of my side projects take about 1–2 months to complete. This helps me avoid some of the common pitfalls many entrepreneurs make, one of which is the failure to ship.

Try to earn your first dollar as soon as possible.