This is Maker Year

I had a habit of doing side projects outside my day job, but a few problems existed:

  1. I was more interested in side projects than my actual job
  2. I have more ideas than time to build them
  3. Working at a computer day and night leads to repetitive stress injury and poor health

Instead of working on side projects while half-assing my job, I quit and dedicated a year to working on personal projects. I’m calling this Maker Year.

The plan for Maker Year

Do 8 one-week projects. After that, work on the best project for 4 more weeks.


Do this 3 times.


Work on the best project of the year for 12 weeks.


In the end, there will be:

  • 24 seed projects
  • 3 incubated projects
  • 1 developed project

It’s a process that should provide great breadth, great depth, and great iteration. Something I’ve noticed about ideas is they’re amazing until you start working on them. One week is enough time to learn how amazing something is or isn’t. And with the 4 week and 12 week blocks for further development, I can easily abandon a project at the end of a week to start something new.

In an ideal case, one or more of these projects can generate income and I can keep doing this. In the worst case, I won’t do any projects and look back at my year with great regret.

This is Maker Year

It’s exactly like a paid sabbatical, except there’s no pay and no job to return to.

It’s exactly like unemployment, except there’s work. Work that’s 100% self-directed, and doesn’t feel like work.

It’s exactly like school, except there’s no classmates, no credentials, and no teachers.

This is Maker Year. It’s exactly the opposite of “Don’t quit your day job.”