I bet most of us have a list of various ideas collected over the years in their favorite todo app. Some are exciting but complicated, some are interesting but not that much, some are just random thoughts and others are just plain unrealistic. I think it's still helpful to keep all of them, because one idea can easily spark a new and possibly better idea.
However, no matter how many great ideas you have in there, they're worthless until you pick one out of that bunch and actually build it. Now because I rented this cabin for 4 days, I have a very limited time to make something, which forces me to filter out anything that has a slightest hint of a large or complicated project, or a project with a lot of unknowns upfront.
I needed to narrow down a list of ideas, so I've used three simple questions to filter most of them out:
I wrote down a list of all ideas I'm excited about right now in Notion, then I was going through each one and asked myself these three questions. If I wasn't sure about at least one answer, I removed the idea from the list.
As a result of this exercise, I ended up with just two.
First - a queue system. Think Sidekiq but for Node.js. I need queues for Linkjar, but there's no batteries-included solution for Node.js apps yet with a beautiful UI to monitor and manage jobs.
Second - HEY for GitHub notifications to reduce maintainer burnout. "Remind me later" & one-click muting. Automatically Ignore pointless "+1" and "any update?" comments. Read notifications in batches of 10 to feel like you're making progress. Basically an app designed to make you feel calm while maintaining your open source repositories.
After I published these thoughts on Twitter, Mike Perham (the creator of Sidekiq) replied to me "Have you seen Faktory?". Unfortunately I didn't and turns out it's basically Sidekiq, but language agnostic. You install a Faktory server, then use client libraries to push and process jobs in the language of your choosing and there's indeed a Node.js adapter for it. Honestly, I don't like how Sidekiq UI looks, but it would be also foolish of me to think that I can create a better or even a similar queue system like Sidekiq in just 4 days.
Then, several people replied too, but about the second idea - a calm GitHub notifications app. After thinking for a few hours, I realized this idea could really turn out to be an interesting project. Plus, three people said they would definitely need it too, which settles it then!
I'm going to build a GitHub notifications app to reduce burnout and I'm going to call it "Lotus". I wanted to give it a name with "Zen" in it, but there's already ZenHub, which would be too similar.
I'm a huge fan of Basecamp, HEY and the team behind these products. I care a lot about calmer and more relaxed way of work, and this idea sounds aligned to these principles. I'm sure I'm not alone in opening GitHub notifications page, seeing a bunch of them and then closing the tab in the hope of handling them tomorrow. Then tomorrow comes and the same process repeats itself.
It doesn't have to be this way and I'm excited to see what can be done to reduce the burden on maintainers' shoulders.
I'm building Lotus in the open and I'm sending out progress updates just like this one every Sunday.
I won't send spam and you can unsubscribe anytime.