Mike had a great story to tell that many of us can relate to. Mike had a ton of ideas rolling around in his head but never executed on his ideas until he realized what the problem was… He thought about his ideas so much that he became overwhelmed and as a result he would convince himself that his ideas were not worth pursuing. Mike summarizes this process into 7 stages.
- Idea – We all have ideas and they come to us in different ways. Be sure to write them down. I would recommend keeping a notebook or even your phone next to you. You can then take notes in the middle of the night if needed.
- Dismissal – This is where we convince ourselves that the idea is not worth executing. For example: “Someone has already done this. Why should I do it?” or you overwhelm yourself with all the different bells and whistles your idea could have.
- Plausibility – Narrow the scope of your idea down to the point of actually being able to implement your idea. Start with the basics (alpha or beta) and you can always add more features.
- Implementation – Stop thinking and start doing! Most importantly, set a deadline and share this deadline. Share your deadline with your friends and family. They will help keep you on track and will hopefully give you grief if you miss it. Your friends and family can help you test your product out when the time comes.
- Trim Scope and Modify Deadline – KISS (keep it simple stupid) Step back and assess the “nice to haves” vs. the “required functionality”.
- Tell the World – Go on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (if you use it?) and tell the world about your product. Most importantly, ask for feedback and take action upon that feedback.
At this point in time you’re probably wondering what the above has to do with developing a web application while riding the bus… Well, Mike did in fact develop the above application while riding the bus. He just happened to note his behavior along the well. So… What lessons did Mike learn while riding the bus?
- If you sit in the back of the bus you can comfortably open and use a laptop.
- The bus doesn’t have WiFi and the additional cost for a WiFi card was not worth it.
- People tend to look at you funny if you’re using a laptop on the bus or they want to rubberneck to see what’s going on.
- Mike rode the bus for approximately one hour per day (half hour each way). There were a few times where he missed his stop because he was too involved with his work. Sometimes a half hour wasn’t enough time to complete the task at hand. So, he would then go to a coffee shop for an additional half hour.
- In addition to his normal development time on the bus Mike would also carve out some time at home to work on his project. He would usually do this while his wife was at work or not at home. Remember, family first.