I always loved building stuff. Small or big side projects, it didn’t really matter to me. From simple websites to using tensorflow’s inception V3 model to train images to detect fruits and objects for the blind, I did it all.
Most of it was for the sheer fun of learning while the rest of it was competitions which I was hell bent on winning couple of thousand bucks. There were a lot of sleepless nights, early mornings, pizza nights too, sweat, blood, tears and friends. Sometimes I wondered if it was all worth it in the end, and I did it anyway.
I built a couple of side projects, here is the thing about them. A true engineer knows if his project might succeed or fail. I know, I did, and hence I only picked up projects which would certainly work.
My worst project had 100 users monthly while best project had 350-400k users monthly. Nobody believes it until shown so here it a google analytics screenshot.
Offcourse, I advertised most of them to earn a few bucks and keep them running but eventually my projects passed on from the apex curve. It’s traffic dwindled and its user base declined overtime.
The harsh reality is it either didn’t make sense to keep it running, I got bored or I didn’t want to do anything with it anymore. But why not keep something running that makes you money? Because the invention is the only thing that mattered after a while, the application didn’t.
I give away my side projects.
Yes, you heard it right. I give them away. Someone who is interested in taking it further, who can maintain it, has a vision for it or is just as excited to keep it running as I was when I built it. It hurts, no doubt but rather give it away than see it die. Only a passionate engineer would understand this feeling.
90% of the side projects fail. Because they have no vision, they have no concept of scaling, monetization or the idea is just bad. But everyone learns something or the other in their journey.