A Tip for Starters? Get started!

Most projects fail due to the fact that one would have to give it a try.

That's a pity, because in most cases what comes afterwards is much more interesting than the initial brainstorming. But even in the subsequent phase, when it comes to the first actual To-Dos, many cool ideas often get stuck.

It doesn't always have to be about founding the next Unicorn Startup. For instance, when I talk to friends and colleagues, many often dream of their own personal blog or podcast.

Great idea! It's so good to do side projects like that.

And who knows: Maybe someday something bigger will come of it.

But even if the decision is made, when I eagerly await a new idea about to take shape ... I do ask after two or three weeks ... "is your blog already online?" ... Response (mostly): "Almost, I'm just hanging on to the template and logo".

Anyone who has set up a Wordpress blog or browsed the many design examples on Squarespace knows: It's very addictive. However: Eventually all these options won't make you happier. This is because, as Barry Schwartz so aptly describes it in The Paradox of Choice (TED-Talk linked): The more choices we have, the more unhappy we are with our decisions because we missed so many other variations.

For this reason my tip is to simply start. Set yourself a deadline. After 24 hours you must have selected a template. After one week the podcast title must have been chosen.

At some point you must tell yourself: Fuck it, ship it. It does not have to be perfect.

Two closing thoughts:

If you enjoy writing and would like to exchange ideas with others and discuss things, I recommend trying out Linkedln as a blogging platform. The interaction works well, the discussions are exciting, almost always objective and the visibility of your own contributions is usually much higher than if you start a blog from scratch under any domain (and: you can also post the content there. Well ... if you ever settle for a template of course).

Secondly, blogs and podcasts are two very popular forms of expression. I have not dared to podcast myself for a long time. But I wanted to be able to do it, understand it, try it out, and learn it. My mymuesli colleague Daniel Setzermann and I tried it some time ago. We got started and our plan is to publish at least five episodes (there are already three).

This is the link to iTunes, where you can listen to our podcast "From 5 to 9" (In German though, Sorry). It's about the things people do in their spare time: Cool side-projects, nerd stuff. Anything from Five to Nine.

The podcast is absolutely not perfect, the technology still often causes us problems. Sound might be horrible etc.

We often discuss the intitial concept, we discuss what we want to change in the future. The most important thing, however, is that we just got started. We are constantly learning new things. And at the latest, the next episode will be a bit better ...

When will you start with your side-project? Or do you already have a cool one? Please share it to inspire others!


This a an English version of my German text: "Ein Tipp für den Anfang? Anfangen" – you can find the original article on LinkedIn right here or down below on this blog!

Max WittrockComment