Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Losing Steam

I wrote an entry back in early October saying that I had, to some extent, lost steam on my Top Secret Project. Since then, I still haven't worked on my project as the last time I took a serious look at the code I realized I had a serious unmaintainable mess of 20k lines of python, javascript and java. So what do I do now? I am not experienced enough a Java programmer to really re-vamp my Android client and I feel that it is the most important component to get the app ready for use. I have had one person call interest on my project recently and I haven't sync'd up with him primarily because I've been trying to aviod the project. I need to get back to treating this project like a (part-time) job. I have realized how difficult it is to cultivate an idea without someone to discuss it with. Paul Graham wrote an essay (http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html) a while back about how any successful startup has had two founders: Paul Allen and Bill Gates, Larry and Sergey, the two Steves. Right now I am without a second half to work with and I think more than the messy code base, this is the reason I've been avoiding working on my project. I still don't want to spill the beans on the project yet but I feel I'm going to have to soon if I can't get myself out of this rut. Heck, I've even written two blog entries on this flight and not a lick of code and airplanes is where I get my best thinking done.

With the holidays approaching, I hope I can take some time for myself and buckle down on this problem, attack it with some code and some elusive, ksw-aggravating, stres relieveing blog entries.

There is one other thing sucking up my project time. My other project is taking off (to some extent). While it only has a 40% user retention rate that does mean 3200 people do have the app installed on their phone! I am very excited about this as I have never had this direct an impact on other people before. And again, while I have had people say they were interested in helping out, so far I haven't seen any dedication to the cause.

I suppose this is understandable because I am a terrible leader person. I even went to leadership training last week and they kicked me out. Well... They didn't kick me out, that was a lie. I enjoyed the three days of training but don't feel any better prepared to be less awful when running a project. When I ran the d20mm project for NWN a few years ago I managed to run out the original project lead and one of the primary artists. I had taken over the project before the original lead and I started not getting along so it wasn't a hostile take over or anything like that. I have also alientated people at work when doing "leader" like things. I supposed that could be what causes projects that I work on to fail. I wrote a while back about maintaing a project as a hobby and feel that I cannot live up to the ideas that I set down.

In any case, despair despair, regret regret, scared scared. What do I do now that I've met my coding limits, dedication and stress limits on my project?