The upfront disclaimer: I don't have a key of success.
And the TL;DR: Consistency is probably more important than a lot of other qualities when it comes to success.
If you're still reading, I want to share with you a super interesting example I learned about this week. I've always found it interesting to follow when people share their work-in-progress publicly. I think this one takes the crown.
Josh Pigford is a serial entrepreneur who shares on his website the 62 (!) projects that he has worked on in the last 20 years.
I think this list is absolutely fascinating. Looking through it, most projects were "failures" in that they were shut down. There's a minority that he sold for anywhere between $200 and $4,000,000 (!). And then there are a few that are still active.
- It doesn't take all that much to start something new. A lot of the projects are Amazon affiliate sites. Some are just 1 page website that let you do something simple, e.g. a phrase guesser. The big ones are definitely more sophisticated (e.g. the $4M project was a business insights app), but it really drives home that the barrier to entry of starting a side project that could potentially blow up is actually quite low.
- Follow the trends. As you look through the projects, they're highly reminiscent of what was going on at the time. For example a web template building service in 2006, Photoshop tutorials in 2007, smart Spotify playlists in 2019, visual NFT voting in 2021. Often the first to serve an unmet need gains a huge advantage in the market, and following / predicting trends can be really useful.
- Sometimes, there are too many variables to recognise the "right" idea, so try a bunch of things. Planning ahead of work is important – and picking the right product and market cannot be overrated – but I think it's also important to recognise situations where you're unlikely to accurately predict the outcome. There will always be unpredictability, especially when you're on the bleeding edge (think crypto, NFTs and the metaverse). In this case, it might just be wiser to try a bunch of things and see what sticks! Some people refer to this approach as Ready, Fire, Aim.
How do you go about deciding which projects to work on? Do you also have a "graveyard" of old side hustles?
Let me know by emailing me / replying to this newsletter!