It’s easy to get into a non-productive, fear-induced rut, especially when it comes to creating something with the infinite amount of technology we have today. We start to think that the tools we have aren’t the right ones to get the job done, the processes we have in place aren’t efficient and “setup correctly”, and the idea we have isn’t quite right.
I have been throwing some ideas around about a new piece of software that I want to create for the web, iOS, and Android for some time now. But, I tell myself I just don’t have enough knowledge to make it happen. What it really comes down to is me not having enough guts to create something and be OK with it if it is a failure (which it probably will be; at first).
Rather than being afraid that you don’t know enough, or that you possibly couldn’t create what you wanted to create, I’ve found some guidelines that have helped me break through the fear of failure and start building.
You know enough to get started
I constantly convince myself that I need one more tutorial for a certain framework or programming language before I can get started on projects. I tell myself I don’t know enough yet to make a good application that people will want to use. The problem is that I always think that I need one more tutorial to make my ideas turn into usable apps. There is nothing further from the truth.
The problem that many developers and creative people have is they think that they don’t have enough information to complete what they want to create. The truth of the matter is that you may not have all the information that you need to complete your creative endeavor, but you sure as hell have enough to get started. So, get started and the pieces will fall into place.
Pick a technology and stick with it
A good technologist knows how to use a toolset to solve problems. The problem with that is picking the toolset. I have been going back and forth on what technology to choose for the application I want to develop. Should I go with Ruby on Rails, something that I’m not extremely familiar with, but familiar enough with, or should I stick with what I know now?
Unless using a different technology is part of the app being successful or you really want to try a new technology with a new project, then stick with what you know. This reduces the barrier to get started.
You will probably fail, so do it now
My biggest fear is that I will make something and no one will use it (except for me of course). But, it’s really the beginning of the last sentence that is the problem.
“My biggest fear is that I will make something…”
Anything after that is just part of the problem. I’m afraid they will hate it, I’m afraid it won’t look right, I’m afraid of everything about it.
The reason that we have this fear of failure is that something in the past is giving us false evidence today that our worst fears will be imagined. I’m here to tell you (and myself) that you will probably fail, at least at first. So, instead of being fearful of failing, at least create what you can, fail, then iterate. You will be better and stronger for it in the long run.
Besides, technology is so awesome now that you can write a book, create a new app or game, or movie with hardly any cost other than your time. You aren’t losing anything when you fail; you are gaining the incite of what will and won’t work.
Everything will fall into place, as long as you let it
So, rather than fear that you don’t know enough, aren’t tech savvy enough, or will fail miserably, simply move forward and figure it out as you go. You don’t need a crazy GANTT chart or in-depth requirements document to start creating something. You don’t need expensive tools and special processes to make things happen. What you need is some standard technologist skills, time, and the lack of fear of failure.
Now, instead of searching for one more article, trying to find out how to lose the fear and create things, just go create things.