For any indie app project I want to put time to, there is a fundamental question I have to ask myself:
Why should it exist?
There can be many answers to this question:
- I think it’ll make money
- I just like it
- I really want to help people do X
- I helps solve a problem I have
- I think it could become a source of income
- It’ll help teach me a new skill
- I think lots of people will like it
The list goes on and on.
For me, a good lens to throw on this is a graph. Viability, vs. want.
An idea can live on the top left. High economic viability, but it’s not something I want to make.
An idea could be something I really want to exist, but, not that economically viable. All the way on the bottom right.
You could optimise for something else. Social-good or impact could replace economic viability, for example.
When new project ideas are brewing, this is another way that I can compare them, to try and choose.
The graph doesn’t necessarily force the decision. Most of my projects have been bottom-right decisions (because I want them to exist).
I think it’s important to be clear and honest with yourself about the why in what you’re doing. This can be one more tool in finding that understanding.