Something that has always come naturally to me (I’m not saying it’s something I’m great at) is promotion of my projects. When I wrote chip a couple months ago, I wanted to spread the word and evangelize it. I presented it at Hack and Tell in NYC, made a screencast, and pretty much inundated my co-workers at Yahoo! with tips and tricks on how to use it. I submitted it to Linux Journal, and now I’ll apply to couple sys-admin confs to present the next version.
Y! folks: `yinst install chip`
I did all that because I was excited about it and I wanted everyone who had ever had the same problems that chip solves to use it. Isn’t that why a lot of us make our projects open source — because other people might find it useful?
I think there are a few different reasons developers might open-source their projects, but I think it ultimately whittles down to this: You’ve solved some problem or made something easier, and you never want to see anyone without a solution (your solution in-particular) again.
But a lot of developers stop short of promotion. They hack something together that they know other people would find useful, release a few versions, and leave the project in the wilderness of github for someone else to stumble upon. That might — but probably never will — actually happen.
In a lot of ways you can find the exact same thing among startups. A couple developers get together with a great idea and a whole lot of initial excitement. They feverishly build whatever the hell it it is and put out an initial version. Then when they realize the software does not in-fact sell itself, the project begins its slow decline into obscurity and float away in the river of bad excuses.
Has this ever happened to you? Did you hack something that’s awesome and should be used by everyone, but no one has ever heard of it? Did you try and start a company, build an entire product, and start to lose interest in it when the time for marketing and promotion came around?
Following through on projects is one of the hardest things to do, but you owe it to yourself. I’m guilty of stumbling on this too. But remember: You didn’t spent 4 months of your life on 3 hours of sleep so you could look back and say “Yea, I should have followed through on that, but I …”
The point: If you can’t close on a project, you can’t close shit. You are shit. Hit the bricks pal, and beat it.
If you get the reference, it’s from a great movie named Glengarry Glenn Ross. A good friend of mine turned me on to it. The relevance? It’s time to sell. To investors, to customers, to anyone who will listen. Get off your ass and go do it.
The success of you and your app depends on your ability to work hard and follow through. Gary Vaynerchuck refers to it as “The Hustle.” It’s how great products, projects, and brands are built.
So yea. Let me end on a quote. This is difficult, because I hate inspirational quotes — but Method Man and Biggie tell it like it is: “Everything ya get you gotta work hard for it.“