Why side projects are important?

Many specialists in IT sphere are familiar with those words: side projects or pet projects. Most of us tried to do our little projects, but only a few of them came to life. But still, why people create side projects?

1. To learn something new

2. To solve some painful problem, you are experiencing

3. To kill time

In most cases, those projects will never hit the finish, because at some point everyone starts to think that they learned enough, or after a while the problem not seem so painful and the project is not worth its time. Now, let’s find the ways to finish the side project, and answer this question: Is it worth it?

Once I made the app for note taking (Yeah, like 1000 other apps for note taking 😅). I actually did not intend to make it, my goal was to learn RxSwift (Fancy word from iOS Development world). Like all the others, I started with great thoughts in mind, that this project will be awesome. But, as usual, once my learning curve hit the point where it says: “I know everything now!!!”,  I gave up on the project. The 80% of the app was done, so by the Pareto principle, the rest 20% will take 80% of the whole time of development. I did not want to do the rest because I knew how to do that and it would’ve been copying and pasting code around, and also I did not like the idea of the app.

At one moment when I almost forgot about the project, I was lost in thought about things I could have added and things to learn. So the decision was made to continue the project, but with new goals and reasons. And here they are:

1. Show the app to people, by placing it in App Store

2. Learn how to promote the app in the store

3. Find the way to monetize it, and the project becomes useful and profitable(win-win)

If you would like to check out the app here it is:

By the way, the app has 6k monthly active users and brings around 100 users on it is own, and that was made without spending a penny on marketing and any experience in app promotion.

Here are the answers to the question we put above:

– Make big goals for the projects, and once you achieve them – pivot

– Show your project to people, and do not try to make it look perfect, show it as soon as it possible. People’s opinion can make your side project to your own small business

– Do not think about side project as a junk, it’s your own work, time and effort

– If you are doing side project because of some painful problem you are facing, you gotta show it to people, because there is a high chance that you are not the only one, that will motivate you

In conclusion, I want to say that your little side project can become something big, and even if it is not, it still provides you a lot of value from little note in your portfolio to knowledge in some new sphere.  You can be anyone in your project, and a project could be related to anything you want, you are not limited to anything, except your own thoughts.

If you want to read about the side project that became something big here they are:

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