The fall has gone quickly with my new life as a student and freelancer. I love the freedom that I have. The school even supports my own passions and gives opportunities to do what I love. This year I have a course called a personal project. This is an one-year long project that gives me a possibility to do anything I want. Kind of a side project alongside my work and studies. In this course, I have a tutor who really believes in the personal project/side project idea. He referred to an article where Spotify´s design lead, Tobias van Schneider, tells why side project is so important for an organization and for your own career (read the article in here).
In this article, Schneider says that side project should be simple, something you love to do and something that just comes naturally for you. Big companies like Google and Apple have built the side project on a regular basis. Smaller companies have started to use hack weeks and hack days that are like bayed holidays with an inspiring program. The importance of these projects are quite hard to measure but even so, very important for the innovation culture and creativity in offices.
After reading this article, I started to think my last three-year long side project (read more about it here). This project was way too long and time-consuming, but it made me the specialist in the field of a learning environment development that I am today. There were many obstacles and many times I thought that maybe this is it. However, the love and passion for the future vision of a school got me going. Thus, I really can relate to the importance of a side project. The question now is what to do next.
In the article, Schneider underlines the importance of craziness and stupidity in the side project. The focus should be on what you love and not to take it too seriously. The project doesn’t have to lead to something. It can become something great or not. I have some ideas that I would love to do but I am not sure if they are crazy enough like Schneider says. I always eager to find new ways to inspire people and find their creativity. At the moment, I am especially interested in toolmaking for non-designers. Maybe I could focus on that…
All in all, this is a reminder of how important the side projects are for everyone. Is there something you have been thinking to do for a long time?