Building an idea on a whim, sorta.
Recently, I left my job to pursue …well, the unknown. Freelance life and whatever ‘fate’ brings. What even is ‘fate’? We’ll see. In the meantime, I’ve decided on a brief period of vacation. However, being the kind of person that cannot not do something and having a mind that moves at 999,999,999 miles per second, I started building a small app idea I had, as the title says, on a whim …sort of.
What is it and why?
As an avid football fan, whenever I’m somewhere new or at home, I like to go to football matches. Part and course of a football match is the stadium experience. Some places are magical, some places not. The questions that are always begging at the back of my mind however are, where is the best place to watch a game? How safe is this away ground? Do they have a good brutwurst? Is the atmosphere at X ground really as good as it looks on TV?
What better way to solve this than by building a list and getting the internet to tell you? 🤷♀️ It also seemed clear whilst working at a football oriented company that beyond social media there’s nowhere for ground hoppers online. Perhaps it doesn’t need more than social media, but definitely worth a shot finding out no?
For a long time, the idea of marrying skillsets together to produce a whole product has appealed greatly to me, more so as a challenge, to see if I can. Seeing other makers such as Pieter Levels and even friends close to home like Tom Bates producing things they want to make was also a big driving force. The eternal question of “well, why not? just do it.”
Also, as someone who is always keen to learn new technologies, my knowledge of backend was (and still is) quite patchy, so this was the perfect opportunity for me to pick up new technologies. Essentially adding to the challenge side of things. A number of other factors have also contributed, such as self-motivation, would I lose interest a few days in? The goal here being to produce an end to end product alone — whether it’s validated or not in the end. Learning curve for future projects and ideas if you will.
…but why ‘on a whim’?
Well this leads me full circle, I could have just take a month or two off and bummed around Neukolln bars fretting to be ‘an artist’, but the curiosity of building something I’d like to use got the better of me. To ‘see if I can’ …on a whim one cold December night. I spent maybe 3–4 hours max in Sketch before jumping into code and each step has been little by little.
As of this moment I don’t even iterate design in Sketch, the whole ethos of the site is improve and iterate on a whim. Listen to feedback, do I agree? Yes, no, then outcome. Having worked in agencies and product teams for a long time, this is a very liberating way of working and I highly recommend it as a learning experience for any creator.
It’s also partly learning to let go of biases and be responsive to feedback in the hope of building a usable product.
All of this just because I couldn’t switch my mind off one night in December. 🤷♀️
Thanks for reading.
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