If you’re new to this blog, you can read the four principles I already wrote about below:
1. Ignore Everybody2. A Jack Of All Trades3. Trust Your Gut4. Stay Busy
Today I like to talk about my fifth principle. Keeping it Stupid. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably an over thinker.
But I believe for side projects to succeed they have to be stupid. Giving yourself the permission to “be stupid” is a gift few of us know or value.
We always love to point at huge success stories, but rarely understand that few of them were never intended to be anything more than experiments in the early beginnings.
Keeping your projects simple & stupid is hard. Especially in an industry where everything is about funding, scaling and data driven decision making.
We ask ourselves so many questions that we will get so scared of the future that we just freeze and stand still.
Common excuses are:
Doubts kick in and we over complicate even the smallest decisions. Our over thinking kills a project or idea before it has even started. It’s a shame.
Keeping it stupid is hard. It essentially goes against everything we’ve learned in school. It goes against everyone around us. It goes against having a business plan.
It goes against answering the questions and doubts from other people. Keeping it stupid means going with the flow. It means doing it, instead of just thinking about it.
One strategy that works well for me is simply asking ten other people around me what they think of my idea.
If they all say I’m crazy and the idea stupid, I have my validation. This should be motivation enough to prove them wrong.
“If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”- Albert Einstein
I remember the original idea of my Authentic Weather app was incredibly stupid. (one of my side projects)
I showed it to a couple friends and I don’t remember anyone approving of my stupid idea. To no surprise.
No one thought that I mean it for real, not even I took myself serious at that point. But I had the drive to just do it, for fun, nothing else.
A few months later I launched Authentic Weather in the app store for $0.99 — One year later we had over 1 million downloads.
Is Authentic Weather still stupid? Most likely. But it did pay a few of my over prized New York rents.
So the next time you approach a new project. Ask yourself, is the idea stupid enough? If yes, just fucking do it. Projects are rarely complicated unless we make them so.
Have a wonderful week,Tobias
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!
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