George Rodier

I'm Starting a Side Project

July 29, 2019

I got into computer science and love the work I do at my job, because I love to build things. I am constantly thinking of building new things all the time. I have more ideas than I know what to do with. But outside of work, rarely do I ever act on them.

I think there are a couple reasons for this. My ideas reside mostly in my head, they are never fully formed, and I never know if they are good enough to take up what little valuable free time I have to work on them. And when written out like that, I am able to identify three distinct problems that I need to solve:

  • Organizing ideas
  • Shaping ideas
  • Validating ideas

Now, I’m not the first person to encounter these problems. There’s lots of software with solutions to each one of these problems. However, after looking at, reviewing, and using various solutions, none of them satisfied what I am looking for in idea tracking/shaping/validation software for various reasons. Some are too expensive. Some are too general, do too much, and/or are too clucky. Others solve some of the problems, but not all of them.

I want something not too expensive, easy to use, and focused solely on ideas and bringing them to reality. Nothing else. And not being satisfied with other options I’ve tried, and wanting to build things (because again I love doing that), this seems like the perfect challenge for me to work on.

I don’t know if this will be of interest to anyone else. I would guess that one day, as it evolves, it may be, because I doubt I’m the only person faced with the same frustration. But if it’s not, that’s ok. This isn’t my fulltime job. It’s a nights and weekends side project that will solve a problem I have and teach me more about building applications. I’m also very excited to work on it! That’s enough validation for me.

My goal is to start by creating a basic app that will allow me to quickly add new ideas, and begin to modify and shape existing ones. When I have that in place, I may launch it to others and continue to build out features that I want and additional features based on the feedback I receive from others.

And if the idea for this side project doesn’t excite you, there’s still plenty of reason to follow along. I plan on building and sharing my ideas on the entire process in the public. I’ve always respected everyone who has been open and transparent about their building process from Derrick Reimer to Justin Jackson to Ben Orenstein to Amy Hoy to Adam Wathan and many others. I think this tweet from Shawn Wang sums it up the best:

In addition to sharing my thoughts on building an app, I’ll also be providing tutorials and tips on the technology I use (such as React, Next.js, Tailwindcss, serverless, and much more). If any of this interests you, be sure to sign up for my newsletter, follow me on twitter, and visit this blog to stay up to date on my progress and to learn some new things along the way!

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    George Rodier

    A personal site for George Rodier, a software developer living in Philadelphia and building web applications for a living.