My struggles with being proud of my work


I personally find it difficult to be proud of my work as a whole.

I might occasionally be happy with my implementation, or with how a feature turned out but I’m never happy with the products in general.

This is an issue for me as it really hits my motivation, why continue working on a product that ultimately doesn’t meet my standards? I find it’s sometimes buoyed by a discussion on a new feature / design / improvement but then returns back to it’s slow decline.

Now, motivation hitting bottom doesn’t mean I stop working, but it does mean I’m just no-longer engaged — and this bothers me. I like to get ‘in’ to the things I work on; I want to be excited about it, I want to want to show it to my friends and family. It’s yet to happen in the 25 apps I’ve worked on, but I’m continually striving to achieve it.

Sadly the quality of the product is rarely the top priority, generally it’s superseded by time and/or budget and the entire product is compromised by being evaluated against a bar of ‘Good Enough’. Where ‘Good Enough’ is frequently functional with minimal embellishments.

Image from: http://www.comindwork.com/weekly/2011-10-17/productivity/project-management-triangle-utopia

The products (that I’ve worked on) are rarely bad as a result but they ship with minimal personality and animation. Despite that they’ve all been relative successes, with (in some cases) high numbers of daily users — maybe I’m just setting my own bar too high.

Instead of doing what’s best you do what’s easiest.
I think Spotify have got it right. You don’t need every feature at launch, but what you do launch should delight your demographic.

I’m not naive, I know that even the products I’m impressed by had deadlines and budgets — but I believe these were mutable on quality not the other way around. In Facebook’s excellent videos on Paper they reveal (in passing) that Paper was in development for over 2 years.

Crafting enriching mobile products takes time and I hope one day to be allowed it.


For the record, some developers I’m impressed by are:

Tapbots
Yahoo
Realmac
Facebook
Silvio Rizzi
Bloom
Sunrise

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