air born


I had been reserching on this idea -- a visual workflow builder and dashboard generator. Unlike what they have been making at my company, this experience would have been much more interactive at each component's input/output level.

Too bad it already exists. In many forms. Not exactly like what I had in my head but close enough that my plan could easily flop. They say "you never know until you try". But I do not want to work on a clone of anything. Not after I believed it to be so original for all this time. To be fair, I knew that similar tools existed, when I started fantasizing. But my understanding was that they are either restricted to the desktop and pricey as hell on the cloud or boring open-source implementations. It turns out both of these are untrue. There are many good workflow builders and execution environments. Open source as well as commercial ones. Thousands of commits. Climbing a mountain that has already been scaled, is not cool enough to tell my grandkids abouts. Besides, competition is for losers, right? Hah! I bet somebody more driven that me will one day create a successful business out of this.

I think the folks at my company realised this all too well, and I am the idiot. I mean the fact that just having a workflow engine and builder is not enough of a differentiator. You need to have things that provided value on top of all that to be able to sell. And they are doing some cool things (just that I am not part of these cool things - see my last post). And it was a good wake-up call. My idea is not as original as I thought. I had also just imagined up some features just because they sounded cool, without much practical reasoning behind it.

Anyway, I had already started working on the main canvas where you would build your workflow. A poor man's implementation of the cool one's already out there. In an effort to justify all that effort, I am still going to finish the main canvas. Will open-source it as a library for others who might want to build on top of it. Sunk cost. Whatever. I might get some stars. Or at least maintain the greenery on my profile while I figure out what I want to work on next.

But something troubles me. When I finally realised that there are too many ideas like mine and decided to give up on this thing, I felt a strange sense of relief. What was that? Maybe it is my mind, after weeks of constant worrying about whether all this work will amount to anything, knew that it will not. So it has to spend less energy on something. Or it could be that I am generally afraid to do things with this much uncertainty, and knowing that I do not have to do it, puts me at ease. Gotta be careful and observe this thing.

I learned very little from this two month adventure. I have written code before. Nothing new here.

Gotta make something worth selling man.