Build Momentum

It's easy to get caught up in all of the inanities of web development. The gold rush of startups, the maker culture and the attitude of the 20 something startup hacker bootstrapping the "Next Big Thing". Sometimes it gets hard to separate the signal from the noise with all of the buzz— but it doesn't matter, you've read all the top 10 lists and StackOverflow posts you need to in order to get started.

You're on the cusp of a great wave, hat in hand and eyes to the stars. Everything is all why hasn't it happened yet?

Well, to get there you're going to have to drop the entitlement and start moving. Getting from point A to point B is a lot harder than just having passion and a pretty good idea. You can carry your magnum opus on an ensemble patchwork of sticks and duct tape, but you have to have taken that first step for anything to come after.

Stop Procrastinating

Sometimes, you're a beginner, and boy do I know how that feels. That great sense of wonder as you build your first project and start paving your way to success; to new, exciting things.

Sometimes you're a perfectionist, and trust me, I understand. It's not that you're afraid of starting, you just want to make sure you do it right the first time.

You've read enough HN submissions to stifle the library of congress, you're down to three frameworks that'll help you knock this one out of the park, and the features.txt file you've had open for the last three weeks is filled to the brim with great ideas. You'll spend all the time in the world you need writing outlines and telling everyone you can about your new idea and all the great things it'll do, biding your time and waiting for the perfect opportunity to get the ball rolling. And maybe, given enough time, you really would take your time and knock it out of the park.

But does it really matter how much time you spend planning if nothing ever comes of it?

It's an excuse. I would know, I'm familiar with it. Nobody can lie to you quite like yourself and I've used that one more times than I can count. It isn't about getting the last pixel just right anyway. It never has been. It's about getting the first, and to do that you have to start moving.

It's dumb, vapid, penny-apiece advice you can find just about anywhere. Nothing can ever be as straightforward as "Just get started", right? In the real world, products are 1% effort and 99% following through. And, well, sometimes it really is that simple.

Just Start!

Putting this out there specifically for all those folks who come to me looking for advice— for a laundry list of frameworks, books, and nuanced pointers when all they really needed was a kick in the right direction. Don't overthink it, don't spend all of your time in the planning stage, just do. Write code. Make mistakes. Fail forward.

As a footnote, I'm fully aware there's quite a bit more to it when it comes to really crossing the finish line, but I wanted to focus on the one group that hasn't gotten far enough to fail.

Here's to the dreamers.

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