Personal Note #5 — Why I switched from STARTING to BUILDING things ?

A few months ago, I pushed the kill switch of yet another project, and while it should have been frustrating, I actually felt a relief.

Article publié le 08/05/2020, dernière mise à jour le 19/09/2023

A few months ago, I pushed the kill switch of yet another project, and while it should have been frustrating, I actually felt a relief.

I started my first company back in 2015 and my first digital project many years before that, and since then, I never stopped starting new things. Each time a project wasn't performing as I intended, I would kill it and immediately starting something new.

I had a "digital" closet full of these ideas I could bring to life in a few days of code, only asking myself if I could do it and if it could help some people out there, but never thinking about: should I do it ?

There are zillions of things you could do to feel productive and to help a handful of people, but sometimes you shouldn't do them, because they are not fully compatible with who you are or who you want to become.

Focusing on starting things means that if they don't do well enough, you can just stop them and... poof, they vanish as quickly as they came to life, without leaving any (positive) trace of their existence. Starting things means that if they require too much of energy to kick-off, you will start something lighter instead, maybe prioritizing something less meaningful.

That is why I don't want to start anymore, I want to build ! Go big or go home. Build from bottom to top, thinking carefully about which impact on the world the things I'm building might have, things I would always be proud of even if they stay accessible to people on the internet for the rest of my life.

It's only been a month or so that I promised myself to build things and it already changed me. I've always dreamed about playing with robotics and electronics, but as time passed, I've slowly forgotten it because I had so many (useless) projects in mind.

Since this "epifany", I started learning electronics again, buying components, wires, modules and all sort of stuff. Within a few days I was able to help my daughter falling asleep by building her a white noise and music player from scratch and I also was able to finish the prototype of an audio book player to help my sighting-impaired grandpa to listen to books again.

Both of the projects are available in open source on my Github, which is something I would have forgotten to do before.

I'm not running after the time anymore, and it feels so good.

Never forget to think about who you currently are, and who you want to become in an either near or far future. Never.

PS: This doesn't mean I'm going to stop doing game jams and such, I still love to focus on something for two days straight, give it to people and then take it out from my mind right away. It's exhausting but you learn so much from doing it, give it a try.

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Markus Spiske sur Unsplash

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