Despite going between large helpings of long work hours and laziness, there has been at least one project I've been working on periodically: FeedReactor.
I've been alternating in my head between rushing off and starting a business or giving the whole thing up. You see, this is the very sort of thing I started this blog to combat-- I come up with some keen ideas and start hacking away by my lonesome. But then, I eventually get frustrated with something and wander off.
I've left dozens of mini- and saddeningly macro-projects in my wake, forgotten on hard drives long since trashed, none of them ever seeing the light of day. Because, when I just work by myself, I don't get any feedback for having been dumb, and I don't get any gratification for having been clever.
The problem is that I go out on these long arcs of fiddling, nothing ever in any satisfyingly complete state, and move onto something else before I feel like things are in any shape to share with anyone. What I really should be doing is documenting things here as I go along, releasing pico-projects demonstrating the little things that make me squeak in geekish joy as I discover them. Then, when or if I ever release the Big Wonderful Project, all the little pieces will have already been shared and explained. And if I never do release the beast, no matter-- the pieces and micro-innovations (if I produce any) will survive.
And then there's the thing I've been missing all along: feedback. If I happen to spew out anything that catches anyone's interest, maybe a bit of a give-and-take loop will form that will cause me to happily abandon the Big Wonderful thing and regroup around something unexpected and even more fun that sprang from something I thought was just a neat side-effect of something else.
See, in abstract, I understand how all this is supposed to work. I just have to drum it into my mad-scientist skull.
(I wonder if trepanation would help with that?)