I try to be extra careful to consider my capacity before agreeing to do something for or with someone (or even for myself). Mis-judging capacity seems to often be the cause of frustration and failure. I think now I finally have the capacity to do something cool that isn’t for a client.
I think about capacity in a few different ways.
Producing anything, apps, music, books, needs skill. More skill and
experience in theory allows a person to produce in less time. It
certainly can allow a person to produce higher quality things.
Some of us have a limited capacity for being around other people. Once
this is depleted, we need to have some alone time to recharge. The
internet makes this easier by allowing us more time to interact with
others because it drains this capacity more slowly.
Producing things also cost money. Supplies cost money, time costs money, travel and food cost money. It costs even more when you need to bring in other people to help. I think the reason many projects fail is because the people involved misjudge their financial capacity and were unable to get production far enough along to start making more. Many developers take on client work to help increase their financial capacity, but that comes at the cost of capacity for time, which often keeps them from finishing production as well.
For the past 2 years, I have been focused on my financial capacity. I
needed money to move to Amsterdam and then suddenly needed money to pay off my student loans. I could not continue to pay for my student loans on into my 30’s or 40’s, it had to be paid now. Fortunately that will all be over this week. I’ll be a free man with a new-found financial capacity.
Human beings have a finite amount of time before we drop. Some of that time we spend sleeping, some we spend floundering about struggling to learn to walk and eat and talk, some we maybe spend in an old folks home trying to remember our names. In between we have a chance to do useful. There are only so many hours in a day and some are spent sleeping. Without enough un-allocated time, no one can produce anything cool.
I’ve also been concerned with my capacity for time. I frequently ask
myself, “Can I agree to help with this event or meet this friend given all the things I have already committed to this week?” or, “Can I build the software my clients want in the time they need me to?”
Making things is hard. Increasing any kind of capacity needs a certain capacity for patience, including increasing patience. Capacity for patience also comes in handy during the hard slog portions of production.
Let’s Do This
I think now I finally have the capacity to do something new. I want to find other developers who also have enough capacity available and build something awesome. I know so many developers who have excellent skills and knowledge, high levels of patience, but often little time capacity. I’m not the desperate guy at the bar praying that he won’t be alone the rest of his life, mind you. This is just to say that I am ready, willing, and able to take up the arms and face software problems bigger than one person.