As the year comes to a close, I am drawing the curtains on my Ship It experiment. I wrote up a small write up of everything, you can read it here.

This article will try to summarize my feelings about the experiment as whole & outline where I am going to go from here.

To be blunt: By the end of December, I was relieved that I didn't have to continue.

Throughout the year, I had two major problems that preventing me from feeling like the experiment was successful. Between the two of them, I ended up feeling terrible about what I was doing for most of the year.

Lack of Focus

Having a lack of focus was the first problem I noticed. After about 3 or 4 months I was doing exactly what I set out to do; The nature of the experiment was to produce something different every month. This sounded like a great idea at the time, I wanted to get myself to a place where I thought about projects in MVPs, not full featured products. That part of it did work, however I ended up feeling like I could not go back to revisit/enhance a project I worked on in the past for it would seem like I was cheating somehow.

This had the side-effect of making me feel like the work I was doing was throw away which, to an extent, I was forcing it to be. So, I stopped valuing what I was doing & my quality & productivity fell dramatically.

Anyone who has worked for an employer who doesn't value their work can tell you how this led into the next problem.

Burnout

Once I stopped valuing what I was putting out there, I started to forget why I was even doing it. That fact combined with a major shift in priorities for my full-time employer let me to get an extreme case of "forget it" towards the end of July.

I didn’t want to work on anything, for my employer or myself. I severely slacked off, playing lots of video games & watching lots of television I wasn’t interested in. Time off work didn’t help. When I was home, I couldn’t work up the motivation to do anything productive or meaningful but, I had no trouble feeling guilty about it.

It took time to readjust & get excited about something before I was feeling better. I had intended to write an article about overcoming burn out once I had something to say on the topic. Though, I’m not sure what I did if anything that helped. Eventually I just started feeling better & found the energy needed to get things done.


What's Next?

I'm going to burn it down.

While there is value in the things that I have created across the past year, I think it is time to shut them down. I'm probably not going to revisit any of them & I don't seem much point paying to have them hosted for posterity sake.

I am going to do a design write-up for each of the projects. I will be sure to post the write-ups on my blog when they are complete.

The write-ups will help to document the decisions made & how everything was built. It also falls in line with next year’s goal of joining the architecture team with my full-time employer.

Blogging More

I would like to start writing more for this blog. I published ten articles last year but, there wasn't any regular cadence to them. This year, in an effort to improve my time management skills, I am going to set aside dedicated time for writing articles. Most likely starting small, an hour or two a week, then increasing frequency as needed or desired. The goal will be to publish one new, 500-word article each month.