* The Business of Software

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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

How do I start my dream project, when I am already too busy?

I can't get this one idea out of my head.  It is an idea for a game.  It is very risky and I may not make a dime doing it.  But it will be fun to build and is a project I have wanted to do all of my life.

I had to learn a bunch of things about gamedev just to be able to spec it out properly.  I learned them.  I am ready to build it now.  I want to build it now.  I stay up late thinking about exactly how I will build it.  Not a day passes where I don't think about it. 

But I don't know where I can find any extra time.  I have some other project going on that is making good money.  My other project is a very challenging and interesting project that I also enjoy.  But I don't obsess about it like I do about making this game.  It is more like a job that I enjoy.

Anybody ever been in this situation before.  Pursuing your dreams sounds like the right move.  But...... When your dreams are not yet a viable business, it doesn't seem in any way smart to walk away from a great business that took years to build and pays all the bills.

How do you do both, when you hardly have time to do one?
C. Stark Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
Like asking "how do I lose weight, when I am already too busy?"

The answer is: eat less and exercise more.

So the answer to your question? Just start.
Bring back anon Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
Start with 30 min a day devoted to that project...
After 30 min you can do 30 more if you feel like .
Start light hearted- don't say 'today I'm starting this game' rather think of it like 'Let's see what can I do in just 30 min'

Often I'm surprised at the progress made in such a manner

Go like that couple of days and if the project is worth it it will start gaining momentum

That's how I start all my projects because I always have something on my mind...Those which keep me interested I finish others I abandon or copy to a folder in case I want to return to them some time later
alexandar Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
Too much thinking not enough doing. Replace thinking with doing and there you go.
Blocky Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
+1 Just do it.

You've got to start actually doing it; even just 15 minutes per day. Before you know it you will have some kind of basis to build on. Rome wasn't built in a day.
koan Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
> walk away from a great business that took years to build and pays
> all the bills.
> How do you do both, when you hardly have time to do one?

"hardly have time to do one" != "great business", at least in my view.

What's the realistic time breakdown of your commitments each week?
Racky Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
"However much TV you watch ... watch less".

If America at large could do this, it could work its way out of most of its problems in no time.

Ain't gonna happen, though.
GregT Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
+GregT

I didn't watch TV for 10 years and now have a thriving business.  Where there is a will, there is a way.
Doug Send private email
Monday, April 15, 2013
 
 
"Pursuing your dreams sounds like the right move.  But......"


Get hold of a copy of "So Good They Can't Ignore You"





AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
One thing for certain is that we all have exactly the same number of hours in a day.

If you want to do something and "haven't got the time" then sacrifice something you are doing.

Don't want to drop something you are currently doing?  Then you don't really want to write your game.
TomTomAgain Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
Following from what I said earlier, about 'So Good They Can't Ignore You':

http://www.forbes.com/sites/robasghar/2013/04/12/five-reasons-to-ignore-the-advice-to-do-what-you-love/



AC
Reluctantlyregistered Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
You've fallen into a huge trap already.

Work out the absolute bare minimum that you need to do to validate your concept. Then build that, and don't spend a second building anything else. Use pre-built packages if you can, and cut corners wherever possible.

You've got to stop being a perfectionist developer and start being an entrepreneur. This is not your day job and you won't have the luxury of writing perfect code for a while.

If you just take all the time that you spend 'staying up late thinking about it' actually building it then you can get a simple proof of concept out there.

Then you'll be able to get it in front of people, get some feedback and, here's where everyone goes wrong, that's when you'll probably want to start over or make some major changes.

So scrap planning every miniature detail in your mind and get something quick and dirty out there now, and you'll soon be on the right road to a product that people want, and then you'll have a success on your hands.
Nico Westerdale Send private email
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
 
 
Thank you all for your insightful feedback! 

@racky 
"hardly have time to do one" != "great business"
I cannot argue with this conclusion that you drew about my post.
I guess the right word would have been, growing business that pays my bills.

@GregT
"However much TV you watch ... watch less"
I am embarassed to admit it, but now that I think of it, seems I get the most work done on this project when I am not hooked on some silly tv series.  I should make a point not to start with a new one.

@ReluctantlyRegistered
Fascinating article in the link you sent, especially this quote: 
"The world is full of unsuccessful businessmen who still secretly believe they were meant to be artists or writers or actors in the movies,"  I truly never thought of it in that way.  I think I will download that book you were talking about.  Maybe it will help me with my mid-life crisis :-)

@NicoWesterdale
Excellent Advice!  I keep imagining this done perfectly and what I really need is a "quick and dirty" proof of concept.  If there is no traction on that, then it is just a hobby and should be treated as such until proven viable. 
BTW Nico your website is Awesome!  I want to sign up and try it.  I am sending an e-mail to that contact form.
C. Stark Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
@Nico
"Work out the absolute bare minimum that you need to do to validate your concept. ...You've got to stop being a perfectionist developer and start being an entrepreneur. This is not your day job and you won't have the luxury of writing perfect code for a while."

That's easy to say, but sometimes even the bare minimum is really quite a lot, quite hard to get right *enough*, and if it's not right enough it's no good.  This varies tremendously by project. 

If it were just about being a successful entrepreneur, then, based on what I know now, I would spend six months researching which projects have the absolute best work:results ratio (least work for greatest results), and pursue those aggressively for the next six months. 

But it sounds like the OP's vision is not about profit solely, but the love of his proposed game.
Racky Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
Nico, check this out, too:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sHCQWjTrJ8
Racky Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
(I mean C. Stark, actually, on that video recommendation, not Nico. )
Racky Send private email
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
 
 
It's absolute BS that you can always find the time.  Yes, we all "have" 24 hours per day, but not everyone is able to drop something to use it.  I used to wake at 5am, leave home at 6am, travel by train to work to 8am, work till 5pm, travel home and get there at 6pm (faster train at night), have dinner, wash the kids and do housework by 8pm, then do my other job till 11pm, and home for bed by 12am for just 5 hours sleep, which I couldn't physically run on and was always sick as a result.  Did that for 3 years.  Extra time, my ass.
Harry Phace Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
> It's absolute BS that you can always find the time.  Yes, we all "have" 24 hours per day, but not everyone is able to drop something to use it.  I used to wake at 5am, leave home at 6am, travel by train to work to 8am, work till 5pm, travel home and get there at 6pm (faster train at night), have dinner, wash the kids and do housework by 8pm, then do my other job till 11pm, and home for bed by 12am for just 5 hours sleep, which I couldn't physically run on and was always sick as a result.  Did that for 3 years.  Extra time, my ass.

Sounds like you were/are married. Does she work? Could you have taken a closer job for less pay and sacrifice some salary?

If she doesn't work, why are you cleaning the house and washing the kids? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwPg2oarG_c
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
Btw, I empathize with you. I know what that life is like and the only way you can get around it is by sacrificing.
Bring back anon Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
Wake up 30 minutes early for next one week and spend the time in the "new" project. After one week check if you still have the interest and like the progress made.
Team@QikTester Send private email
Thursday, April 18, 2013
 
 
>That's easy to say, but sometimes even the bare minimum is really quite a lot, quite hard to get right *enough*, and if it's not right enough it's no good.  This varies tremendously by project. 

I once worked on a project with two founders where we built a proof of concept, in four months. Then, instead of releasing it, they re-wrote the framework so the code was more object oriented, and went through two sets of designers mainly changing the iconography so that it was more streamlined.

This took six more months.

I screamed at them that they were crazy people.

Then after release they found nobody used it and they had no clear marketing strategy. The project folded.

Wouldn't it have been better to find that out after 4 months, instead of 10?

The iconography and the framework didn't make a blind bit of difference in the failure (or success) of the project, the business idea could have been validated without it.
Nico Westerdale Send private email
Monday, April 22, 2013
 
 

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