February 17, 2019
An inside glimpse of my struggle with (unnecessarily) doing things by the book and how it plagues my ability to get anything done.
I’m not sure if there’s a word for this, but I enjoy doing things as real as possible; maybe better put, done by the book. It’s hard for me to articulate what exactly I mean by that, so for the purpose of this post, I’ll explain a simple example that I’ve come across recently.
Think of a website, any website. I just thought of Twitter. Now, visit the site in mind and locate the footer of the site. There you will most likely see multiple links, probably some about the product, the company, the legal things, etc. I would also bet there is a statement that looks something along the lines of:
© <year> <company_name>
Am I right? You may be wondering, “Why is Cedric writing about footer copyright notices?” Let me explain. My current side project is called unearth and recently I’ve been designing and coding the landing page. Now, when I got to the footer, I wanted to do things as real as possible and decided to throw in the aforementioned copyright notice, to make things look legit, you know? This is the crazy part.
Initially, I put
© 2019 Unearth. A few minutes later, I thought, “Is that even
legal? What is Unearth, I don’t actually own a company by that name.”
After spending a few more minutes looking for inspiration, I decided to change
“Unearth” to “Unearth Labs” because that’s what Notion (https://notion.so) did.
Any normal person would have left it at that and moved on with their life, but not me. Seeing the word “Unearth” repeated in the footer right below the logo wasn’t sitting right with me, so once again I procrastinated further and sought to fiddle with the copyright text more.
Then it occurred to me: I’ve gone through a similar struggle before with a previous side project. I went to the site and sure enough, there was some footer text (though not a copyright notice) that said, “An experiment by Ceddy Spaghetti Studios”. When building that previous project, I had seen one of my favorite makers do this on one of their projects so I thought it would be cool if I did so as well. I remember now sitting at my desk trying to come up with names of a fake company to use and ultimately choosing “Ceddy Spaghetti Studios”.
Upon this realization, I knew I had the text to complete the copyright notice for unearth’s footer. This, however, came at a cost: I just spent thirty minutes of my time which could’ve been spent going towards developing the core product.
Although this example may seem insignificant in of itself, these type of situations happen all the time when I’m building side projects. I battle with myself over the silliest decisions only to waste time and stall the development, and consequently, the launch of most of my projects. Due to this indecisiveness, more often than not, the side project will go unfinished.
I was originally going to write this post as a way of documenting and making Ceddy Spaghetti Studios “official” (insert Michael Scott declaring bankruptcy meme). But I guess this post also serves as a nice reminder and lesson to not sweat the small stuff and instead focus on what really needs to get done.
Written by Cedric Amaya who is currently studying Computer Science in sunny California. You should follow him on Twitter.