David Gary Wood

Viability vs. Want

July 23, 2020

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:

The list goes on and on.

For me, a good lens to throw on this is a graph. Viability, vs. want.

graph showing viability vs. want on opposing axes

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.

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