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Re: Anyone on this list?

Steve Baker wrote:

> It's hard to get *ANY* new project started from cold.  Sometimes projects
> start from a grass-roots need - most times one person just starts 
> something.

> OpenSource projects in general have a spectacularly high failure rate.

Agreed. But this also happens to be the case for any of my projects at 
work, not just the stuff I tinker with on the side. This is due to a 
large amount of factors:

(1) The project get started, but it's realised that it's not going to 
solve the problem.

(2) The project gets part of the way through, but you realise the 
implementation is somewhat braindead and decide to restart it from scratch.

(3) Eventually it's realised that the problem the project was going to 
fix has gone away and hence you don't need to work on it anymore.

(4) You finish the project, but it's not really widely used, since it 
only fills a small, niche issue.

(5) Zozens of other issues that slip my mind.

> I'd rate this at maybe a 30% success rate...but if you count the projects
> with large communities around them - maybe I have a 15% success rate.

Which is actually a solid success rate, although some people may not see 
it. If it ever seems futile when this kind of thing hits me, I tend to 
think along the lines of 'I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that 
won't work.' (stolen shamelessly from Benjamin Franklin).

Failure _can_ actually be a good thing.

> Games *are* personal visions.  I can't tell you the number of times I've 
> seen
> wildly enthusiastic people with ideas for games who seem to think that
> I'll just *obviously* want to jump in and help them.  Well, I'm sorry but I
> have some great ideas of my own.

Hell, I remember a friend of mine (non-programmer) who once sat down, 
came up with an idea for a game and then expected me to sit down a code 
it for him.  They don't seem to take too it kindly when you explain that 
coming up with the idea is about 1-2% of the work, the actually 
implementation is where the real sweat is, and if they aren't going to 
do any of that... :)

A similar story (and probably a better one) is of Frank Herbert, who had 
a friend claim that he had a great idea for a sci-fi story that would 
make them x million dollars. His friend would tell him the idea, on the 
condition that he write it and they split the profits 50-50.

His response was to laugh and say that he had more ideas for stories 
than he could ever write in a single lifetime. The hard part was 
actually writing them.

email(n) - the current trend in modern postism.