How do you decide what project to pursue next?


I'm an independent software developer. As I'm beginning work on my next project, I'm curious about how others in the same situation prioritize the different projects available to their firm.

So, if you run/work for a small firm that does self-driven product development (as opposed to, e.g., building custom software for the clients that hire you), how do you decide where to go next? What due diligence do you do on each idea you seriously consider.

There's a related thread, but that one focuses on the initial phase rather than ongoing practices.

(I'll provide my own answers to this, but probably not right away, because I don't want to influence the discussion.)

Ideas Project Planning

asked Apr 3 '10 at 05:28
300 points

2 Answers


I would look at

  • how well do you know the space? It is much easier if you have contacts, if you know what is critical in a particular market?
  • do you work on a project to solve a personal frustration? If so, it is much more likely to solve a problem for which there is no good solution yet.
  • is the market growing? If the tide is rising, it is much easier to grow with it.
  • finally, how well can you explain the idea? The easier it is to explain, the less difficult it will be to convince people to join you, to beta test, to buy.

Good luck

Let us know what you will come up with


answered Apr 3 '10 at 06:11
Wordon Wiki
76 points


Nobody should be able to tell you what to pursue next. There are so many variables in this decision process. If there are obvious winner ideas, you would not be posting here. If there are several seemingly equal ones -- which one you feel more passionate about? There will be ups and downs along the way, which idea would you be willing to hang on to?


answered Apr 9 '10 at 00:06
1,698 points

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