Working on a project for a long time but afraid to publish it on the web? Don't worry you are not alone. The majority of us have projects that are resting in the tomb we call repository. Just when the project is almost ready, we lose interest. No, we don't really lose interest. We find another project to work on so we don't have to deal with the problems of publishing.
What are people going to think about my project? what if they hate it? It's a fair question to ask. We all want our project to be successful and liked.
So let's examine a scenario.
<scenario title="Project CoolRevolutionaryIdea">
It is 1:00am, Monday morning. You've waited long enough for everyone to fall asleep. It's the right time to finally upload your project without making a commotion. You chose an obscure domain name just so it won't be too obvious who is behind this website.
You press the big green button and the project CoolRevolutionaryIdea is on the web. You close your laptop and go to sleep.
In the morning, your phone is off. You don't want to get notifications. You know that your twitter account is probably bursting with comments. You know some people are gonna hate it. You don't want to check your email either, because you know that on the web, when people don't like your product, they send you death threats.
So you go all day without checking your project. But you know you should. You need to work up the courage. "It's ok, every website sucks in the beginning." You stand in front of the mirror and remind yourself how awesome you are. Pep talk. Sexy smiles. And a wink!
You have 2 new emails. One of them is from a friend that is still doing these forward-this-email-or-your-mom-will-die thing and the other is by Amazon titled "Please buy our crappy phone".
You check twitter and Aha! You had 28 followers the day before now it's 27. No, that was just a bot unfollowing you.
Analytic it is. You check Google Analytics. It shows that there was one person on your website. The person is still on the website. Wait, that's you.
3 weeks later, there is still no one on your website.
This is why I tell everyone to release their project as soon as possible. Not to be cynical, but it is important to realize that no one cares about you.
Users just aren't that into you. It's not personal. It's business. Unless what you're writing …
- solves their problem
- provides useful information
- entertains them
- makes them feel like they rule
… it's irrational to expect users to care about it.
Why don't they care about me
When you put something online, no one is gonna come. At least not right away. Ask yourself the question, "why should they?"
Do they even know you published something online? If they do, should they care? Why?
Publishing anything is a whole process of discovery. You realize that publishing is easy. Bringing people along is a whole other story.
The web is a miracle because it allows someone in the far corner of a village in Taiwan to connect to you in an instant. But just because this is possible does not necessarily mean that person will find you, or finds you interesting.
It takes hard work to build a presence and trust online. The fact that no one cares about you when you get started is not a curse, it's a blessing. You start with a clean slate. It's like being new in a country. First you learn the language, then you learn it's culture, then you get to tell them about your culture, then you make some friends and yari yari yara.
My dad told me, 'It takes fifteen years to be an overnight success', and it took me seventeen and a half years — Adrien Brody
There is no such thing as overnight success. The reason there is such thing as overnight success (-__-) is because no one cares. When you publish your project and it sucks, people will forget because they don't care. You may have been working for years on your website, people think you only started existing when they read about you on business insider.
Here is a simple exercise. Go check out your favorite youtuber. You know, the one that has millions of subscribers. Good, now check the first video ever uploaded. Good, now check the stats (if it's available). Either the video has very low views, or it only gained momentum years after.
So in summary, publish your work. Watch no one care. Scream, cry, be depressed, then get over it. Now that you grew a thicker skin, keep working and publishing your work. With time, you will get experience and figure out how to attract those fools that don't care about you. (Hopefully without having to post naked pictures of yourself)
The beauty of the internet is that it allows everyone to have an equal voice Except Google, they rule the internet. You can be as small as a mouse and loud like an elephant. All the tools are available to you.
Now get started. Hit the green button.