Discuss Home · Bootstrapped Podcast · Scribbleton Personal Wiki · HelpSpot Customer Service Software

What are your secondary goals for your project?


#1

I’m sure for most people the ultimate goal is simply cold hard cash and all the benefits that brings, but if you’re anything like me you’ll have some other reasons for doing your project, for me its a few things, firstly I really want to finish something major that’s my own, I’ve built lots of things for other people (and some moderately successful mobile Apps for me) but nothing big of my own that I can be really proud off. I want to be able to sit back and say “I built that, it’s mine, good isn’t it?” Even if it’s not financially successful it’s something I’ll be able to put in my portfolio and point people to it.

My other motivations are to learn, I know I’m a good enough coder to build the product, but learning how to market it, learning the business side of things is both scary and exciting, it’s going to pull me out of my comfort zone but I know if I’m going to make it work it’s where the real hard work will begin.

So other than money what’s your goals for your project?


#2

When I set up my latest company one of our stated goals was to have a “Wide Employment Impact -
Our mission is not only to be a great employer but also to impact those entrepreneurs that will create local employment themselves through craft and labour.”. Our initial business focus is still really struggling but we’ve been able to achieve this goal still through our consulting business. It’s kept me sane through the disappointments around our core plan failing.


#3

Learn, Learn, Learn

Learn to build apps faster and to build them so they are more resilient and reliable.
Learn some best practices and some secret black arts of the business side (customer development, marketing, etc.)
Learn to better interact with people (colleagues, co-workers, present and future customers, etc.)

If I’m not learning, I’m usually not having fun. If I’m not learning, or I look at the roadmap and don’t see a chunk of learning coming up in the near future, it might be time to outsource or move on.


#4

A number of things:

  • Firstly, after having some truly horrifying and heart-wrenching experiences around security (staring at a terminal window for hours and deciding that I just don’t like computers anymore), I really really want to help developers up their game on this topic. If my actions contribute in some small way to preventing a single security breach then I’ll consider the entire endeavour worthwhile.

  • I want to teach topics other than security, and that of course means spending a lot of time doing research and brushing up my own skills. I love learning the ins and outs of deep technical topics, it’s brain crack to me.

  • Implementing all the internet marketing knowledge I’ve built up. This one is huge. I’ve been dancing around the edges of success in this for way too long, so I really want to follow through and build a little “internet fame” based on what I’ve learned so far.

  • Most importantly, time to spend with my wife and son. A lot of people complain that they can’t get anything done with interruptions from the baby, but I welcome those interruptions and exploit them to the full to play with him. Perhaps I do this a little too much, but I sincerely doubt that on my deathbed I’m going to look back and think Damn, I spent too much time with my family.

Lot’s more, as life is complicated, but that’s about the long and short of it for me.


#5

Great question. I have a few things in mind:

  • Time and location independence: I know that being your own boss can actually mean working longer hours but I at least have some freedom to choose those hours and possibly the location. I don’t mind working 15 hours on a day but the next day, I want the flexibility to only work 5 hours and spend the rest of my time with people that matter to me.

  • The idea that someone else is using something built by you to solve their problems is awesome. A sense of satisfaction that I did something meaningful in life.

  • Constant learning. This one is a must for me. No matter what you do, you should always try and learn something out of it. Even in a day job. Doing my own project gives me a lot more learning opportunities. I mean if you are bootstrapping a project, you have to learn technology, sales, marketing, communication etc.

  • Build a solid professional network. I really believe that at the end of the day, it comes down to the people you know and interact with. Big business deals are not done b/w companies. They are done b/w people who know and trust each other. Never underestimate the power of people relationship.

  • I am very sure that trying to build your own thing makes you a better person.


#6

Wow, great posts here already. I pretty much echo everything that everybody has said, with these specifics to my situation:

  • As a front-end developer, my most recent project has caused me to learn back-end development. It has taken me quite a while to wrap my head around a lot of concepts (building an app with Laravel), but now I am really proud of where I have come, and how much it stretched me.
  • I’m less interested in the money than the lifestyle. Meaning, I think I’d be fine making with my app what I make now, or even a bit less, as long as it lends me less working hours. As a father of four little ones, I really want to be able to take vacations with them whenever we want, to watch their games, to be a chaperone on their elementary field trips. I know these experiences will be lived without regret, and I see bootstrapping products as a way to get me there.

#7

That’s a great way of looking at it, and it echo’s my thoughts, some things are way more important than cash in the bank.


#8

I think we always learn A LOT of our projects regardless they are successful or not. As a developer I’m always learning better coding practices, new technologies, etc. I think this is more evident when you are bootstrapping because you have the freedom to choose the best technology for your needs so you need to test all the alternatives, and because you tend to make better code compared with the code you write when you are freelancing or when you work in a big company.

But I think that you also learn a lot about other things from marketing to psychology and I truly believe that you end being a better person that understands the world at least a little more.


#9

I have one really ambitious goal/hope and another more practical one nestled inside of that.

My more ambitious goal is to change the way work is done in America. I think 40 hours a week of sitting at a desk is totally ridiculous. I read that back before the industrial revolution (I don’t know exactly when), people would work 2-3 hours a day on getting food, etc. and spend the rest of the time with family and, you know, living. So if and when I have employees for Ben Franklin Labs (the parent company to Snip), my plan is to make a 20-hour week standard. Workdays will be 4 hours. I also intend to encourage and facilitate exercise and education, because I believe I’ll get more out of my employees if they’re healthy and educated. And I don’t just mean technical stuff - I plan to teach people skills, money skills, and other basic life skills that regular schools fail to teach people, resulting in adults who are perhaps competent employees but kind of bad at living in general.

So hopefully I can treat my employees that way and maybe get some attention for it because it’s so different from how work works today. I would also promote it as much as I could, maybe with a book and/or speaking gigs and that kind of thing, and my hope is that eventually America would adopt a 20-hour standard work week for “knowledge work” instead of the 40+ hour standard we have now.

So mine might be kind of crazy, and I don’t know if I’ll actually accomplish it, but that’s what it is.


#10

Oh, I forgot to mention my less ambitious goal: I want to be financially independent by an early age, preferably 35 but I’m not sure how realistic that is. (I’m 29 now.)


#11
  1. Since the assumption of this thread appears to place making money as the first goal, I’ll go ahead and state my first goal first – I want to create software that people love to use.

  2. I state that because when I first started my project, it was started with that intent and that intent only. It currently still is free and open source software, although it’s in now in the process of being molded into more of an open core model to see if it can be turned into something that can make money.

  3. Because this will be my first venture into that side of things, this particular project will serve as a learning experience for me. I’ve always been developer minded - nothing else. I figure I can’t really stay that way if I ever want to develop a successful product.

  4. This one is more omnipresent than simply being a “fourth” goal - but I love programming and love to up my chops and learn. Takes me a bit longer than some of the young’ns these days, but I always get there one way or another :slight_smile: