I’ve recently noticed that whatever side projects I’ve taken up over the last few years have a very short i-am-soo-excited-about-this shelf life. The amount of time I feel excited about the new idea is ~ 2 days.
If I don’t complete the project in 2 days, it either gets shelved indefinitely or zipped and moved into the “old stuff” folder (can’t decide whats worse).
A few of you, with whom I discuss my projects on a regular basis will know of this (the likes of Surabhi, Suramya, Vivek, Renny, Arwind and Jace) … I come by, talk about these great projects and ideas … show you a mock-up or a demo … and then a few weeks/months later, when you ask me about it … it’s not done yet.
What has happened to me? Have I just become an idea spewing yet fundamentally hollow final-product producer?
I don’t know for sure. I can guess, yes. But cannot confirm …
There was a time (lets call it high school and college years) when I was free to do as I pleased … ideas came out, but the need was for technicaly wizarary, not finished products. Leaving something incomplete didn’t matter as long as I learnt something new from the endeavour. Heck, I didn’t even feel bad about so many incomplete projects … they were my various trials and errors. For me to see and for me to modify.
Now, in a more professional environment, I often feel that learning itself if not sufficient. There has to be some finality to these projects … either make them work or not start them at all.
Learning itself is not a valid business case anymore.
It’s an important part of the process, but cannot be the only aspect of it. Might be I’ve always been one for incomplete hobby projects, just didn’t feel the need to justify their incompleteness in the past.
So, i’m going to try … try and go back to some of my recent incompletes and take a second look at their business cases. Look at why I thought they were important then, and if they are still as important now. Then do the right thing, either complete them, put them up for adoption or write necessary abstracts to give them closure. One way or another, tie up the loose ends.