Side projects May 19, 2013
So many people are building wonderful things using their incredible talent
that it can be discouraging to even think about trying an idea of our own.
I have craved to have a side project where I would be in full control of decisions, ideas and outcomes; building things for others gets you a certain degree of satisfaction but building something for yourself is satisfying on a whole other level.
In recent years I have become obessesed with viewing side projects. There are some really talented people on the internet building really good and clever things. I became quite envious of such people and started to get worked up about not having any ideas of my own.
I got over admiring other people and their work,
I wanted to admire myself and my work as well.
I spent hours per week browsing and using other peoples work wishing I could do something similar for my own personal experience and enjoyment, but I couldn't think of an idea.
Then, one day I found myself browsing upcoming movies on Apple Trailers.
Suddenly I realised I desired a clean & simple website that shows me what movies are now showing in Australian theaters. I couldn't find one.
And with that my side project idea was born.
Being a bit of a perfectionist I like coding everything myself but i wanted to use this project to get past that hurdle. I took this time as a perfect opportunity to trial run Bootstrap and pulled together some other open source projects. Basically my side project was turning into the sum of other peoples work.
This was a good thing because it gave me more time to think about what I was building and not only how I was building it.
I didn't want to manually add, edit or remove movie titles so I decided to use Rotten Tomatoes API for capturing movie data, because it looked the simplest to implement.
2 days later I had designed, coded and released a proof of concept website. It wasn't the most amazing piece of work but it was symbolizing my following through from an idea to a working product.
It didn't matter that it wasn't getting much attention. I was finding it useful. Every few days I would open it to see what movies were listed, watch the trailers and read some related tweets.
It's not perfect, but I can once again admire other people and their work because when I look at and use Moviies, I can admire my own.
One year after launching Moviies, today it has an all new look and feel. I've started from scratch and brought a great designer (Jo) on board, because nothing great gets done alone.
Nothing great gets done alone.