Side projects can be an extremely exciting, exhilarating, and fulfilling endeavor. However, whether you’re an employee at a full-time job, or a freelancer with clients, you’ll inevitably run into creative blocks or other types of obstacles as you’re wrapping up and getting ready to launch.
When you’re stuck on a project, there’s only one way out: push through it. I was finishing up a year-long project at work, so I put in for two weeks of time off. Normally I’d relax, but this wasn’t a vacation: I wanted to finish the tough bits and ship the app. As cheesy as the name is, I called it my “MakeCation”.
I woke up at the usual time, headed to a cafe, and worked on our app as if it were a full-time job. I only needed three things: Wi-Fi, Xcode, and OmniFocus. Those ten days led to an app that was nearly done, and a few weeks later, Ryan and I launched our app.
We’re often told to “just ship it”; there’s a notion that quality can be built in later. With an app, though, you only get one launch day.
For us, the MakeCation was a way to refine the product without delaying our launch. It’s not that we launched the app earlier; it’s that we launched the app better.
Clark’s MakeCation freed his bandwidth up enough for him to make the final push and build an app he and his co-founder could be proud of. While it doesn’t have to be perfect, it should be functional and just a bit delightful to users: take a MakeCation to finish off your side project and launch it.