Stop being boring

creativity

This week, I felt pretty depressed and lost my motivation and focus. After launching Space4, I got some signups from HackerNews, but no one was really using the app. Including myself.

“Will people even use this? Am I doing the wrong thing again?”, I wondered.

It sucks. This is not unfamiliar to me because I have failed many projects before. This time is a bit different. I knew the problem was valid since many people have trouble staying focused. There are many successful focus apps in the market to prove that. During the prototyping, I also researched and asked friends for fresh perspectives. Furthermore, I tried to innovate by combining the app with ambiance sounds and an online community. Most importantly, the app got more tractions than all the previous projects.

I seem to do a better job this time. However, I don’t feel right.

After asking for help from Indie Hackers and friends, I know what improvements I can make. Simplifying the landing page, a goal-setting feature, improving UX…etc.

I also know that I shouldn’t dismiss the idea easily because it doesn’t work at first. And I believe success usually comes after perseverance and not giving up.

But deep down in my heart, I have this scary feeling that I am no longer passionate about coding and building stuff. I feel bored, uninspired, and unmotivated. I am lost.

II did sleep well, eat well, and exercise regularly. I don’t have a problem physiologically. I am generally happy and optimistic, so I am psychologically healthy.

So what went wrong? My gut feeling is that I am boring.

I lost my creativity and the sense of wonder I used to have in childhood. I am no longer curious because I am settled for the world as it is. I accept things the way they are instead of imagining how they could be.

I follow trends to avoid being wrong. I play safe instead of being adventurous. I am afraid of failure – fear of being judged, fear of getting started, and fear of the unknown.

I am kinda sick of this. I need to make a change. I need to think differently and have my own opinions. I need to pick a fight and stop trying to please everybody. I need to unleash the child within.

Most of all, I need to stop being boring.


20 responses to “Stop being boring”

  1. Sounds like you need some Soul shaking,
    “We gonna have a soul shake down party tonight” -Bob Marley

    Time to become a volunteer at the local youth center/ local shelter/ food bank/ care home

    Give something back to the community, Peter Krapotkins Mutual Aid has some wise words in it. Try that for a start.

    Good luck

  2. I am from a 3rd world country. I don’t think you are boring. It is the idea that people can be reduced to apps what is boring. I feel in general computers or smartphones boring as an extensions of a human being. That is not its purpose however we deviate into that. All apps devoted to improve people’s lives, to make us really good isn’t going to be a good business. If you want to make money do some porn site, if you want to make good to people ask them to avoid being all the time behind a screen and do it yourself.

    • Hi Will, thank you for dropping by. I wrote this article solely to express my recent frustration. I am glad that you can benefit from it. 🤛

  3. You’re not boring. You are feeling what it is like to fail. It should hurt and be depressing. You’ve made several attempts at it with no success of any kind. My suggestion is take a month or two away from it. Take lots of walks to clear the mind and focus on everything else and then come back to it. Write an app you will use. Start there. Its much easier to persist at something that benefits your own interests, and perhaps maybe others will also be interested. I was doing similar stuff and took a break. Then I wrote an app for software project management, so even if no one else uses it, I do. Plus it helps with the resume to say, ‘hey I wrote this to help me work on my software projects.’

  4. I am excited about many things. Classical music. Programming, math, Bitcoin. But most people find these topics as Boring! as I find football. I am creative in these Boring topics. Most people find poetry boring. So I started a poetry club to meet other poets. I listen to math and poetry and programming podcasts and read books to pump my knowledge and interest. Create someting every week, it does not matter what. And know , Creatives are rare. Seek them out. No one was born knowing how to sketch, play piano, or program. Oh. And Now I am dating a poetry lover. Create for yourself and then share, in that order.

  5. You are changing, this is not necessarily bad. I once had the ability to play computer games for days on end and enjoy every moment of it. Now it feels claustrophobic and wasting my life. Was losing this “Childhood wonder” really a big loss?

    By the way you write I assume you are coding for many years. I would put my money that you are in fact not becoming boring, but losing interest in a hobby you had for many years and struggling to let go.
    What if you did some experimentation with other things and found that while you no longer enjoy coding as much as you did you now appreciate sports or gardening or hiking or history or music or spending time with friends more? Is it really that much of a loss? There are a lot of worthwhile things in life other than building products 🙂

    Destruction is part of creation, rot is part of growth. Don’t be afraid to let go of what defined you in the past and reinvent yourself. While its OK to mourn the parts of yourself that are dying, don’t let nostalgia for who you were prevent you from enjoying who you are.

  6. If you build something that is boring but useful then it’s still useful, like math is boring to some people but it’s useful. If you succeed in fun things, they probably aren’t boring but also not very useful like games.

  7. You’re not boring, but the Space 4 app looks boring.
    I perused the website and it reads like a second rate sales pitch from a guy selling miracle cures.
    Goes on and on and on, but without telling me what the app Is, what it does, and why I would need it.
    Then it offers nothing truly amazing that my own concentration powers couldn’t overcome by a re-assessment of distractions around me. This is why these apps are not that popular, and many are free Pomodoro type apps. I work on something, I take a break. Or it’s a writing app that simply goes full screen and claims that is going to stop all distraction – when it’s not the core root of the problem.
    Also, we have to remember our friends, family, co-workers etc are our immediate network, and if they’re not using our app, then most likely no one else is going to either.
    You need that Zombies vs Plants kind of networking and spread, where even if someone isn’t initially attracted to the app/game, once they start playing they get infected by it, and tell others.
    Don’t worry though, this is true of any product, from selling tshirts to art to apps and games – if your own network of people you know won’t buy/pay/use/wear it then it’s not working. More so with apps.
    Also, people buy what they WANT, not what they need. This is base sales knowledge.
    You’re not boring, but perhaps your projects or boring, and believe me out of experience – the people around you are going to be too polite to tell you, and you will waste YEARS of your life making something no one wants.
    How about next time, make something YOU want, something that excites YOU, then see if anyone else likes it. If they’re not throwing money your way or telling everyone about your creation, they’re not being honest with you.
    ACTIONS count, not WORDS from anyone. I have learned this as a fellow creator. Get an honest opinion from people you respect, and ignore likes and social media – it’s also full of doodoo.

    • “How about next time, make something YOU want, something that excites YOU, then see if anyone else likes it. If they’re not throwing money your way or telling everyone about your creation, they’re not being honest with you.”

      One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever heard. What you said is very inspiring. Thanks, buddy!

  8. There’s very little to be excited about when it comes to building software products nowadays. It’s all scams and marketing, combined with relatively low-tech stuff on the back-end, and every new thing is always hyped up to be the “NEXT BIG (x)”, x being whatever it is you want to dIsRuPt.

    Building an app to help people focus is completely missing the point of what focusing is about. It’s not something that can be helped with external means. It’s 100% about how you handle what’s going on inside of you.

    Perhaps you should venture into niche areas that aren’t as exploited as the productivity market? Because if you’re looking for excitement here, brother, you are looking in the worst place possible.

    The world needs software that helps with complex problems, not apps to help couch potatoes focus.

    Verification of false information, online education, digital government services, these are just some of the areas that desperately need software innovation.

    Also, if you’re bored with software, just do something else entirely. Start painting. Play drums. Read a great science-fiction novel. Maybe write a novel?

    Look for stuff that excites you, not stuff to impress/help the next man or woman. Develop a vision of change that you’d like to see in the world, and try to find a role for yourself within that vision.

    Just like heroin addicts chase the dragon, all of us are always in pursuit of that awesome feeling of peace and accomplishment. There are many roads to reach it, I hope you find yours!

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