For the last few years, winter break has been synonymous with "slump." In early December, right before it starts, I put together a list of projects that I'm excited to work on over the break. Then, once I'm actually done with school until the new year, I end up just sitting there, completely unmotivated to start any of them.

Huh.

Up until now, this has been frustrating. And, for the first couple of weeks of 2019's break, I felt no different than usual. Now, however, I've come to the realization that my side-project slump isn't un productive, but instead a necessary reset that has the potential to be a springboard for my personal development.

My side-project slump has given me the opportunity to re-identify what exactly it is that I want to do with my time. No, it's not gaming every night. No, it's not re-writing my personal website in Gatsby just so that I can have a statically-generated blog backed by Contentful (*rolls eyes at self*). It's making and finding things for other people. That's my passion, and that's what I need to do. As much as I love the people who I game with (and you know who you are), I've got to quit the nightly habit. It's just an escape from the mini-me in my head that's constantly kicking me and screaming "PLEASE, SHIP SOMETHING. ANYTHING. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD."

After that realization, I've been putting my time towards building stuff that I really care about.

I present to you, the list of things that I'm going to ship in the next six months:

Round

I already shipped this once, actually. For those who don't know me, it's a real-time group consensus tool, targeting work item estimations. I wrote it previously in Elixir and React, but I took it offline and now it needs a face-lift. I'm going to move it onto Zeit Now, and use Pusher for the real-time backend.

A haircut

Seriously, it's getting a bit shaggy, and these split ends have got to go.

Neat Stuff ~Weekly

Emphasis on the "sorta weekly" part. This is a newsletter that I ran for a little bit, where I showcased cool stuff I found around the internet. I enjoy showing discovering products and services for other people, and I've had quite a number of requests for me to bring back the newsletter, so I'm going to reboot it this year. I also have plans for a format similar to Uses This for the podcast version.

A new job

Maybe you want to hire me? I'm graduating in June, so I'll need a new opportunity to pay the bills. I'm looking for small (<300 employee), inclusive companies in the productivity space to do React or DevOps/SRE work for. You can check out my resume for more info about me, and then reach out to me on Twitter @puregarlic_. Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

AssembleKB

This is the big one. In the next couple of months, I'm going to launch a mechanical keyboard component store specializing in aesthetic additions to your board.

I wanted to try something completely new for myself, and online retail is very much out of my zone. But, at the same time, I'm a business major, so I think I have what it will take to make this store work.

So, what are aesthetic additions to your board, you ask? Well, let's just say I'm ordering samples of about 45 different SKUs of standoffs. We're talking brass, nylon, and aluminum standoffs in various shapes, sizes, and colors. On top of that, I'm ordering different kinds of M2 screws to sell from my apartment and ship to your door.

I've had a couple people mention that rose gold (or, more generally, pastel) standoffs/screws would be really cool, so once I'm settled in with my initial offerings, I'll be pursuing an interest check and a group buy for those. Beyond that, I want to make laser-cut acrylic tools for keyboard enthusiasts inspired by Japanese carpentry.

In the long term, I want AssembleKB to not only be a store where you can purchase keyboard parts, but to also be a place where you can find out which parts work for your board in particular. I also have some ideas for assembly-specific help materials that I wished I had when I got started.

In short, I have a very strong vision for Assemble KB, and I'm stoked to make it come to life.


There you have it. I guess I just wrote some kind of Silicon Valley-esque New Year resolutions list, so I'd like to apologize for that—but at the end of the day, it's making, finding, and selling stuff that keeps me happy. And this year, I'm going to make a reputation out of that.