Brian Gilham

Engineering leader, husband, and father

monetization

Side Projects = Investments

There’s a trend I’ve noticed lately — both online and in my inbox — that I find troubling. Someone will share an idea for a side project and immediately follow it up with a comment like, “But there’s no point in doing it — it isn’t monetizable.” What? When did working on a side project become so driven by a desire to make money? Sure, it’s hard to read an article titled, “Tricks to Monetize Your Side Projects” and not want to get a piece of the action.

There’s a trend I’ve noticed lately — both online and in my inbox — that I find troubling. Someone will share an idea for a side project and immediately follow it up with a comment like, “But there’s no point in doing it — it isn’t monetizable.”

What?

When did working on a side project become so driven by a desire to make money? Sure, it’s hard to read an article titled, “Tricks to Monetize Your Side Projects” and not want to get a piece of the action. But a good side project can offer so much more.

A side project is a long-term investment in your skill set, creativity, and career development. I landed my job at TWG based on the strength of my side projects. I found many of my friends and acquaintances through side projects. I picked up a lot of skills through — you guessed it — side projects.

If your project ends up making money, awesome. But if you’re thinking about starting something new, monetization should be the last thing you think about — not the first. If it stops you from getting down to work, it’s just another form of procrastination.

Don’t throw away the opportunity to invest in yourself just because you don’t see a path to profits.