I learned to program the hard way. I stayed up day and night crunching code in my very old PowerBook G4. The machine was defective and it would take over an hour to turn it on. To prevent it from failing I would keep working so it doesn't go back to stand by mode. Most my classmates did not care much about programming so I was my only motivation.
Years passed and I can say that I am a somewhat decent programmer. Every free time I get, if I am not hiking or at the beach, I am working on a project. Most projects I work on require programming. So I get to practice it as much as possible.
If I get an idea for a service, a website, or an App I can explore it all by myself. I can design the application, research the competition, validate the idea, and most of all I can code it. Most of the time, this is how my free time is spent. It doesn't mean everything I make is awesome. As a matter of fact, I make shitty applications with bugs all the time.
This is what most developers do. They get ideas and they do research and some of them actually make products. Getting an idea is the easy part. Ask any developer and he will give you a list of hundreds of ideas in his idea bucket.
Developers have the skills to develop their ideas. Here are a few things that stops us from working on them:
- a full time job
- spending time with the family
- having too many hobbies
- other side projects
- lack of organization
- lack of time
So we have the skill but we also have obstacles. Now can you guess what happens when someone comes and tell us he has a great new idea?
When I was still in college, I had a friend that asked me if I wanted to work with her on a great new idea she had. We had to go in a corner away from prying eyes and idea thieves. She put her hand over her mouth while talking as if someone would catch her on camera from afar and a professional lips reader will decipher her secret.
Then she told me the idea. At the time, I was still a fairly new in the programing world but, I could tell a non-original idea from a great one. She wanted to build websites for people and charge them for it. That was it.
Now there is a lot that goes into building websites. When the idea comes from a non techie, you can imagine that a lot of things have not being taken into consideration. It's been many years now and I still didn't receive the money for the 2 websites we built together.
I still get these requests today. Building a social network, a website were people can chat (huh?), others where I said no before I even heard it, and others where the ideaman won't tell me the idea until I agree to be part of it because it is so great.
We’re not short on ideas — Most artists aren’t twiddling their thumbs trying to think of their next idea. I have about a hundred "gunna do" projects already. And that list is constantly growing. [...] — Andrew Price
Developers don't just sit and wait for someone to come give them an idea. We all have ideas, sometimes we are simply not motivated to work on it. It's rare that you can tell someone an idea and their eyes just light up in excitement. Chances are, the person you share the idea with has already thought about it on his own.
If the only thing you bring to the table is an idea, then you are expandable. Why would someone work with you if all you have is an idea. They can say no to you, and then go work on it on their own. Or they can just work on their own ideas.
This is not to discourage you but you have to accept that your idea may already be taken and it's ok. Don't be afraid to tell people your ideas and if they don't like it or are not as excited as you are that's OK.
Work on your argument instead. Be ready to explain your idea in one sentence, and why it is better than all the others that are doing something similar.
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin started a search engine when there were already hundreds of others.
- Jeff Bezos was not the first to come up with an online book store.
- There were plenty of social networks when
- Rejaw was long in the game of microblogging before twitter.
- There were millions of programming forums before stackoverflow.
- Uber when we already have cabs.
There are thousands of services where the main idea is not unique at all at there creation, but they are successful. So stop worrying about your ideas. Instead, focus on bringing them to life;.