January 5, 2019

I start a project and in the middle of it I feel that it's useless

I don't know if this happens to anyone of you but I have this very common feeling. I'm very sure and passionate about an idea. I start working on it. After some time I just get depressed and feel that the idea is a complete waste and it just won't work.

Has anyone faced this too?


  1. 23

    if you don't finish you never get any feedback. and getting feedback is what helps us evolve.

    1. set yourself a deadline

    2. make sure you finish it. even if it's shit.

    3. you've got to get past the hurdle of finishing and launching otherwise you'll keep on quitting.

    without finishing you'll just float from pretty idea to pretty idea without properly thinking through the nuts and bolts.

    1. 2

      This.

      Always launch.

      If you're not finishing, you're setting your initial goals too high.

  2. 6

    I have faced this A LOT. I'll be excited about it one week and then the next week I'll feel like I need some time away from it. It can be really depressing. I think, sometimes, us entrepreneurs aren't aware of how much pressure we put on our brains and our bodies.

    Look at a child: they play with one thing and move onto the next when they're bored. That's natural. But no, we entrepreneurs force ourselves to focus on one thing, block out everything else, and think it's a bad thing when we get tired or bored. I have to constantly remind myself it's okay to switch projects, it's okay to work on something with no value if it makes me happy, and it's okay to be kind to myself.

    Good luck friend!

    1. 1

      I think we are always attracted to the next new shiny thing. The ideas that get boring after one week were never really exciting to you, just new. The ideas that still are exciting after some weeks of digging & building are the one to continue on.

  3. 6
    1. This affects me :-(

    And it's compounded by:

    1. Not having enough time to work on things - which means the total length of time it's being worked on elongates, but the perceivable progress isn't so great, especially when I have to context-switch so much between day job, family and side project.

    2. Not really being a developer, which makes all of the above more difficult and constantly an exercise in learning.

    It isn't really set well to succeed, and I get down about it.

  4. 2

    I've been there, hardcore. The way to short-circuit that pattern is to get your project in front of real customers before your feeling of "it's useless" sets in.

    Mind you, that doesn't mean your project will work. It just means that the right people are making that decision, and not you.

  5. 2

    Oh, yeah, it happened to me all the time until I started asking potential users what they think before I write a line of code. If they didn't see any sense and I saw their arguments wise I moved to another idea - until:

    1. feedback is positive

    2. I love the idea.

    Good luck

  6. 2

    Before you publish a project, you are your highest risk. You are likely to lose steam and motivation after a little while.

    To prevent this, publish your first version as soon as possible (a few days if possible, a few weeks at most)

    This is actually hard, knowing what could be a good enough version, and knowing what to take out.

    Once you start having users, they will motivate you because they will be contacting you about bugs and new features and the momentum will keep going from there.

    Good luck!

  7. 2

    This happens to me often. It's tough to fight against. The best solutions, imo, involve simply avoiding this feeling rather than trying to push through it. Some ideas:

    • Put in extra research and planning upfront, and talk to others about your plan. Try to think several steps ahead. This will help you spot potential roadblocks before you've spent months working.

    • Don't build things that require months of work. Keep your projects small. Try to do things that can be successful in just a week or two.

    • Identify the biggest risks and tackle those early on. For example, if you're a developer, it's likely that building your app is the easy part and selling it is the hard part. So start by selling.

  8. 2

    It's time to step away from it for a bit. Take a small break. When you come back to it, if you still feel the same, you'll know what to do.

  9. 1

    When this happens to me, I go hang out with the community that my idea is going to serve (my target users) — online or IRL. Invariably I see things that remind me why my idea is valid and why I decided to do it. I'm immediately re-inspired. Never fails.

  10. 1

    Absolutely second this. Maybe you can work on a side project in parallel when you feel depressed on the major idea.

  11. 1

    Hey AKS- I saw this and wanted to drop a note to you because this resonates with me. You're not alone, it's natural to feel this way in my opinion. Making is a marathon not a sprint and investing time and energy is what separates ideas from execution no matter the side of the project, they all take time.

    How you counter this feeling varies from person to person ...

    For me when I get in this situation I start to look back at the commits I've made and the pieces of functionality I've brought to life in my project and tell myself it will all be for nothing if I choose for it to be by stopping.

    This creates a sense of awareness for me as to how far I've come. The next thing I do is set a mini goal, something small, change one minor thing here or update something I said I would come back to. That gets me on the keyboard again because the barrier to success is low and at that point my emotions snowball and I get back to the grind.

    You're doing the right thing by reaching out, hopefully you find everyone's comments encouraging.

    Keep at it!

  12. 1

    My 2 cents:

    • Give your ideas some time before starting working on it, test your passion with time. Work on the details meanwhile.

    • If you starter it - find the mvp state you want to have and push towards it no matter what. Having finished products is great, even if they fail.

  13. 1

    I also know what you are feeling. Something that helps me a bit is telling people like my wife and friends. But sometimes you should just take some time off.

  14. 1

    I don't know if this happens to anyone of you but I have this very common feeling

    I can't find a good link but this is ridiculously common and have seen it referenced a lot. Google some articles on problems shipping side projects and I bet it's mentioned in every single one.

  15. 1

    Perhaps talking about your idea more will help to keep you motivated and reduce the chances of disillusionment.

    I expect you’re concerned that someone will steal your idea. If so, talk to anyone and everyone about the problem your solution addresses rather than your solution itself. This is much better than asking for people’s opinions and there is no associated fear. It also makes you less likely to be one of those people who continually talk about themselves and rarely listen.

    And/Or it might help you pivot, reduce scope or realise happily that it’s not what you want to pursue.

  16. 1

    I'm pretty sure everyone feels this way. I certainly do. Part of being a creator is constantly self-motivating.

    What I've learned is to write down a mission statement or core goal of my project. Then, I try to stay aligned with it. If I'm feeling demotivated, it's often because I'm getting sidetracked or wasting time on features not aligned with the core mission.

    Also, like others said - launch faster. Slim down, simplify and go live as soon as possible. The sooner you get validation, the easier it is to justify continued effort.

  17. 1

    Happens to me some times, what I overcome this problem is to print out an inspirational quote and ping it on the wall next to my monitor. Something like Real Entrepreneur Ships, it kinda helped me get going.

    And of course print a quote on a white paper is kinda ugly and not sustainable, so I recently started an online shop so you can buy a coffee mug or phone cases with inspirational quotes print on them. Perhaps it can help you as well. Lol.

    PM me if you are interested and I will send you a 30% discount coupon.

    https://inspirationproduct.com

    https://bit.ly/2sa6mRU

    or

    https://bit.ly/2C5vEVO

    Keep shipping!

  18. 1

    It's all your choise. Drop it now (that's very legit) and be a part of 99% happy wantapreneurs who tried but gave up. Carry it on and join 1% of crazy indie pariahs. Yeah, it's effing hard, agreed.

  19. 1

    Sure, felt like this a lot.

    It drags you down if you don't counter it.

    It's a natural part of the building process which starts in your brain.

    I got three tips for you:

    1. You need to pull through it with positivity: Show what you do to people early and get feedback, that's a good cure for it, especially if people like it. If not, even better you now know what to change.

    2. Also start keeping a TO-DO list which you feed and curate daily, that way you get a sense of achievement.

    3. Cut the Bullshit work to speed the process up. Ask yourself: Is this a feature i really need or me just finding excuses to launch.

  20. 1

    Do you feel it is useless since there's no validation of the need from the market? Or the contrary, worry about existing competition? Or is it the sheer complexity of the work you perceive towering above you?

  21. 1

    It helps if you are building something which customers have told you they want and keep pestering you about when it will be ready. Otherwise, you are fighting your own psychology which is generally hard. Make others count on you. It works wonders for getting things done.

  22. 1

    Happening to me now.. But, I've decided to make shipping it the goal above all others, even if the product is crap and in spite of any doubts.

  23. 1

    of course..your not the only one

    Dont believe me...Look at this link...

    I dont even know what the hell I made

    http://kcdirt.x10host.com/Project3/galaxy3/index.html

  24. 1

    Not to be a know-it-all cause I am more of a know-nothing: get it out the door. It doesn't need to be your million dollar baby, but seeing something through to completion is important. That's my suggestion.

    Pare down scope. Set deadline. Be willing to be embarrassed and receive critical feedback.

    By the by, you didn't tell us what it is....what if it's a groundbreaking idea?

    --- I launched a project that took too much time, only to see the market flood with better competitors, authored by people with more time than this overworked, underslept, married, father of two. I have learned a lot and it's part of the journey.

    Keep going!

  25. 1

    Happens all the time!! And there is more bad news, once you finished it, you're not that into it anymore. You feel like you could do much better.

    It's just part of the process, don't sweat it. Once you finished it to the maximum of your abilities, put it aside and work on the next thing.

    When you come back to it, and see what you have built with fresh eyes, you'll be amazed and really proud of yourself.

  26. 1

    Yeah, that happens, sometimes for the better and other times, it's just the typical change in motivation that happens to everyone every day :)

    In reality you probably won't know what will work and what won't, but gaining the experience gained on itself is always valuable

  27. 1

    It's like a trail up the mountain, the journey is not smooth. You might get tired and rest along the way, but somehow you persevere and continue and you reached your goal of getting to the top or you convince yourself you couldn't do it and you walk back down.

    What I am trying to say is that it is normal to have these thoughts and you know yourself better than anyone. You can rest and work on it here and there or if you feel like this is something you cannot do, you can find something else.