Dream with me
It can be fun to buy a lottery ticket and dream of what you might do with the winnings. Maybe imagine a huge mansion with a ten car garage out in the suburbs? How about a yacht sitting in the Monaco harbour? Or a thousand acre property in the middle of nowhere where you invite all your friends to live on a commune with you?
Do you ever think about what it would be like in those moments after reading out the numbers and realizing that you’re the winner? You don’t have the end money yet. No house. No yacht. No land. There’s everything you need to do in between.
Perhaps I’d call up a lawyer. Should I or can I claim the funds anonymously? There’s getting the funds into the bank. I wonder what the look on the teller’s face would look like. Do I carry that oversized cheque into the bank? Or maybe they just wire it in. That’s more likely. Then I’d be hitting refresh on my banking page until I saw the funds. Do I tell people? Who should I tell? Who can I trust? Am I splitting the money and if so, what’s it going to be like to tell everybody else in the group? Should I just call them or make it an event?
Sure, this is all pretend but I do have fun imagining all of the nitty gritty details.
Skip to the End
I’ve always felt it important to put together a plan to figure out how I’m going to get to the end result. It’s great to dream wistfully about what things will be like way down the line but I also need to dream about all of the steps in between. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Or something like that.
If I’m writing a book, I’ll start with an outline. I might not stick with the outline. I might have to change some things along the way. The outline gives me some hooks to hang the meat of the actual work onto.
In product development, there’s always that urge to envision what things will look like at “the end” and build towards that. But the end is some grand vision that literally takes years to get to. Is there some early checkpoint—or, dare I say, minimum viable product—that can be built that is something usable?
I started conceptualizing a new app with a few friends and felt myself shying away from the grand product vision and instead looking at something more barebones. They almost seemed like two different apps but then it clicked how I could see one transition into the grander vision. I could envision the steps along the way.
It’s easier for me to buy into something and get excited for it when I can understand the path to be taken.
I’m like that when it comes to coding, too. I don’t like using frameworks or libraries that I can’t conceptualize. (I mean, I’ll use them because I have to but there is an uncomfortable unease within me when I do.) When I first learned CakePHP, I read through the source code to understand what was happening. I’ve been wanting to do the same with 11ty because I feel like there’s more I could take advantage of if I had that understanding.
But Here We Are
Perhaps this is more deeply tying into a fear of the unknown. It’s not a crippling fear but definitely an anxiety that spurs me to prepare myself. Which, I guess, is the point and ties into my last post about the details. In that post, it was about the end result I want. What does the experience look like? In this post, it’s about how I get there. What do I need to do to achieve the experience?