Zef and I are constantly talking about different ideas and "things" we want to build and projects we want to start. Over the years we have started countless side projects but have finished only a few. It's hard to keep side project momentum around busy lifestyles and full-time jobs.
We have decided enough is enough. We need to plan everything out properly, write down our goals, create a real roadmap, and keep ourselves accountable. So that is exactly what we've done!
We've come up with personal, business and work goals, as well as a list of projects we have been meaning to start forever. We have a MASTER PLAN!
Building in the open
To help keep us accountable we have decided to share our plan publicly. If we don't stick to it everyone can hold us accountable 😬
Here is our project timetable for the rest of the year. We have given each project code names so we don't ruin all the surprises to come.
But we never finish...
One of the biggest problems our side projects have faced in the past is finishing them! Zef and I both have busy lives and have to work on our side projects around our "real" jobs.
All too often we have been overly ambitious and before we know it we have been working on something for six months, and we are still no closer to releasing it. At this point, we wouldn't have validation whether the project was a good enough idea to be worth spending that amount of time working on, and it's easy to get bored of a project when working on it for so long with no end in sight.
To hopefully solve this problem we have decided to limit each project to a strict 4-week timeframe. This should help us keep focused and not get too carried away with creeping features and endless tweaks. At the end of the 4 weeks our goal is to have something releasable, however MVP it might be.
It's going to be hard, but I think the limitation will help us to get something out the door.
A template for success
Given the short timeframes for each project, we have planned at a process that we will follow for every project, hopefully becoming more efficient as we go along. The steps in the process will act as waypoints guiding us to (hopefully) launching a decent MVP at the end of the 4 weeks.
To kick-off we will do the following:
- Kick-off post - This will essentially act as our brief and explain the goals of the project and what we want to produce.
- Project landing page - We will create a basic project landing page where people can subscribe for updates. We have bought Tailwind UI to help speed this up.
- Set up Clubhouse - We ❤️ Clubhouse as our project management tool. We will scope out and add as many tasks as possible to the project so we can get a sense of how we are doing over the coming 4 weeks.
The day to day of working on the different projects will vary, but we plan to post a weekly status update outlining our current progress and what is left to do. Hopefully, this will be an interesting read to anyone following along and again it should help us to stay accountable and on track.
At the end of the 4-weeks, our goal is to have something launch-able. What does that mean exactly? Well ideally it would mean we would be launching a fully-fledged product, but if we are being realistic I think we will have achieved our goal if we have an MVP launched that is ready for Beta testers. Again this will be slightly dependant on the specific project.
Another way of putting it, I think we will have succeeded if it the end of the four weeks there are users other than us using our product 😀
7 Products / 28 weeks
By the end of this process, we hope to have launched 7 products within 28 weeks of sprint time. It's a lofty goal we know, but we are excited about trying to accomplish it and can't wait to see the results.
The plan is going to allow us to validate our ideas quickly, we will learn so much along the way, and when we come out the other side we will have 7 great projects we can add to our Pixelhop portfolio.