Motivation: "The Gap"
In a moment of Fantastic Inspiration, I was presented with an elegant solution to a problem so many makers have: motivation.
More specifically, a co-bootstrapper and friend was concerned that he felt unmotivated to come home after a day of programming and continue programming on our product. Coincidentally, I've been having motivational problems with my day job. In a random moment of inspiration, I decided to see if the motivational issues were the same, coining the issue itself "The Gap".
The Gap is the distance between the decision to build something and the ability to first see it manifest. There is no set unit or method of measurement for The Gap. It doesn't need one: with no further explanation, I wager any maker reading this knows what different sizes of Gap feel like. The feeling that occurs when The Gap is "too big" is very personal, both easily identified and very potent.
Your goal as a project leader is to make The Gap both as small and as rewarding to cross as possible. Without belaboring the point too much, I'll give a handful of example solutions:
- If it's an individual project, find a collaborator. They'll increase the reward of crossing The Gap by sharing in your accomplishments.
- If it's an existing project, find a mentor. They'll shrink The Gap for you: typically, the bulk of The Gap is built up with missing information.
- If you're already an expert, find ways to improve the tooling for you and your team. The second-largest material of The Gap comes from bad tooling, especially when said tooling is slow.
24th of April, 2014