Do it just for fun
A Few years ago in 2015 (~2016) I had built a really small project during the summer, a web application to allow a car driving school to track and manage all the trainees, it was simple enough to be useful, since I was working on it with an owner of a driving school (my mother had bought a new car and she was re-learning to drive). He was pretty happy with it, i learned a lot with that little experience (how to deploy in a small company, speaking with end user, etc), back in school the next year we had a project contest in school and the goal was to show something working, useful and sellable, I was in a enginering school where one of the things we learned was to present our project as entrepreneurs or marketer, so one of the requirements was to present it in the way it could be sold to someone. At the first glance i didn’t wanted to be a part of that, but my friend convinced me to go and present my project, since he knew it and i said yes. I made the presentation for about 10 minutes. I was mainly showing the project and it’s features, at the end the judge asked me:
“is it all ? How can you make money with this ?”
I felt empty at that moment, i had no idea of how to do it, where to start, i was just thinking about my friend who convinced me in the beginning to be a part of this. I hangry at him for that bad moment i was having infront of everyone.
After that he gave me a lot of insights, he explained me a whole process of how I could reshape the product and search for stakeholders to make it more sellable. And I liked what he said, it stayed in my empty mind and it was like a reference example when I was planning to write a monetization plan for something else (even now i still think with that approach). I didn’t know what was coming with this knowledge. Then I started all my projects (even smallest one) with a plan of monetization, I always had that in mind, more important, in our school we could ended up in a project contest at any moment without planning ahead, so we always had to have projects ready to be pitched during an improvised contest (even student in networking class had to stay prepared with projects in their fields).
That habit took slowly a great pleace in all my mental process to choose, design and realise projects, even personnal projects. With a real lack of business knowledge, I mostly ended up doing nothing most of the time. The I shifted from the mindset of a “doer” to the one of a “thinker”. I was always planning stuff ahead and trying to see at least one way of monetization. My goal was now to have at least one monetization channel, so I could happily show it to someone who may be ready to take the project to a further step(investing, startup incubation, etc.).
Let’s be clear, it’s not a bad idea to think like that, but it can be a pain point at some point, especially if you are an engineer. I was in a mindset of stopping to imagine great think just because I was not able to figure out how to make money out of it at some point in the future (even potentially). This is what I think is bad at all this, I am trying to remove that mindset and start doing things just for the sake if doing them, and this come with a lot of procrastination.
It haven’t been that bad for me since i am working as a Tech Product manager in a early stage tech startup in HR Tech (Workerly) and most of my work is to figure out the feautres to build and make a lot of planning ahead. Now i am trying to regain my “doer” mindset.
Thank for reading, I just wanted to write this down like a personnal therapy.