Weekend Projects are Worth Your Time

This weekend I spent most of my time doing things I hadn't planned to do. Somehow I let Mike and Needles talk me into building something.
In my head, I thought — I have so many other things to do. But something told me, I should just throw away my to-do list and jump in.
To be fair, my contributions were minimal. I don’t code, I am not a designer. But whatever, I taught myself to do a few things and contributed.

So what did I learn (beyond how to use Sketch)?

Community is vital.
We wanted to build things with other Product Hunt Makers. Hearing their different ideas and seeing people throw themselves into projects of all sizes, from all over the world is freakin’ cool. And having a community that you can share with and get ideas from is inspiring. The Product Hunt community never ceases to amaze me. It was awesome participating in the community in a different way.

Building is fun.
I've experienced and observed this while working at Product Hunt, but not in this scrappy, side-project kind of way. Encouraging people to create is important. You never know where a great idea is going to come from, and shipping is fun and rewarding. You learn something every time you do.

Anyone can contribute.
Your ability to contribute is only limited by your willingness to try new things, fail and try again.

It is all about the people.
The most important thing I took away from this weekend — who you decide to build with matters. This is especially true with small teams. This weekend, we had to agree on what we were doing, how we were doing it, who was paying for what, what colors to use, etc, etc, etc. Doing the work over a weekend means you're giving up your time to achieve a goal, together. And if you are going to do that — you want to be able to turn around and have a beer or coffee with those same people next weekend.

Mike Coutermarsh and Jeff Needles at the Meerkat Office working on PHan Finder

As humans we intuitively get the value of working well together — yet, we often forget how important it is. I’m not talking about fit. Nor am I suggesting that everyone needs to be your friend. I just think we forget about the intangibles…compatibility, complementary strengths and weaknesses, and humor.

In the end, I'm glad I invested my weekend in our little project, PHan Finder. We are proud of what we built. We hope you enjoy it. :-)