When I set out to build software on my own, one of my biggest goals was to have more fun creating that software. I wanted to create a tool that others could enjoy, but, more than that, I wanted to have fun while I did it.
It has been fun. But somewhere along the way, the fun faded just enough. Then it turned into responsibility. The urgent overtook the important. I started playing it safe. This didn’t happen all at once, of course. It never does. It was an almost imperceptible advance.
Personal responsibility increased. Buying a house. Getting married. Having kids. All the things that make you think more about financial planning and security.
More people were using Sifter. That meant more people affected by our decisions. (And more people affected by any downtime to boot.) Even the smallest changes could hurt their productivity. I second-guessed too many ideas because of these fears.
Then there was things like scaling, security, upgrades, and operations to chip away at the fun too.
In hindsight, it’s obvious. I let the fear take over. I’m working on a course correction, but that’s not important right now.
What matters to me right now is that you don’t make that same mistake when you’re knocked around by the day-to-day challenges of creating software.
If you dream of creating better software for people and having fun doing it, then do it. Know that it’s going to be hard work. Know that you might have to do some things that are less than fun. Just make a point to never stop trying to have fun with it. Invest in processes and tools that make you have fun with it.
Don’t let that fear chip away at the fun. Unhappy people create unhappy products. The world has enough of those already.