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GitHub Ghost Towns: Part Three

Published: 2/4/2015

In part one you learned that the purpose of your side projects should be to build a portable reputation. In part two, you learned how to pick projects that people will care about.

Now it's time for the scariest part of any side project: shipping it.

Starting a project and then never finishing it is so common, it's a joke.

There are a million reasons people don't finish projects. Do any of these sound familiar?

This last one is tricky, but it happens all the time to all of us. For example, it's common to start a project "for fun", but is it really "just for fun" or is your brain using that as an excuse in advance because secretly know you won't actually finish?

Shipping stuff is a skill.

Shipping is addictive. There is nothing in the world like the feeling of creating something that people use and value. And you can get better at finishing and shipping your work.

But I'm not the greatest expert in the world at shipping, even though my recent track record is not too shabby. So I grabbed two of my friends, Amy Hoy and Alex Hillman, who are masters at finishing and shipping projects. Amy even wrote a book about it. They were kind enough to sit down and talk with me about their experience with making things and some of the principles they use to get stuff out the door.

And guess what? Part of me didn't want to ship this interview because I'm nervous that I sound dumb. But it's not about me, it's about helping you. One of the many bits of wisdom in this interview is the fact that not shipping your projects is inherently selfish, because by not shipping, nobody has a chance to benefit from your work. You have to learn how to put yourself to the side, and put others first in order to master the art of shipping.

Content Warning: Amy's book is called "Just F***ing Ship" (JFS), and there are no "bleeps" in the recording. That's about all there is to the cussing, but just in case you're sensitive to those things I thought I'd give you a heads up. :-)

You can buy a copy of JFS here: https://unicornfree.com/just-fucking-ship

That's not a referral link or anything, I have no deal with Amy. I just really liked her book and thought you might enjoy it as well.

Also you can follow Amy on Twitter here and Alex is here.