Side Projects and the Art of Solving User Problems

March 24, 2016 - 2 minutes read

coding side projects for app developers

Content marketing trumped traditional banner ads on desktop and mobile because it offered something that actually got user’s attention: value.

On desktop, iPhone app developers and startup founders blog about their knowledge to both help the community and bring like-minded people to their brand. On mobile, integrated content helps third-party brands reach users in a context that actually matters to them, allowing a favorable impression.

With that logic in mind, the startup community is starting to see a shift towards a new type of value-added marketing: the super-useful side project. From browser extensions to web apps to open-source Github repos, side projects are picking up serious steam among Denver iPhone app developers. It’s not just for the open-source community anymore, and growth hackers at young startups are seeing great results from pursuing viral, useful side projects to spread brand recognition among users.

There’s a compelling post by Sagi Shrieber over at Hacking UI right now that goes into detail about how he made the transition from freelance designer to startup founder, all while juggling a dozen side projects. What’s interesting in this article is the focus on how he finds inspiration and decides which to pursue: value. (Check out the post, it’s a great read.)

Here are a few of the key takeaways:

  1. Have a partner
  2. Pursue your own passions and problem areas
  3. Build things that you would share
  4. Automate, automate, automate

What’s exciting about the side project trend is how it embodies the “move fast, break things” Silicon Valley mentality in a positive way. Training yourself to think in terms of small, approachable projects is always a good thing for iPhone app developers and anybody interested in tech entrepreneurship because it’s almost like a practice round for the main show: launching a full-time business around an iPhone app. Every startup begins with an MVP, and even something as small as a browser extension is an MVP in its own right.

Practice makes perfect for iPhone app developers. Let’s make more side projects.

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