Create Something . . .
By Phone2Action VP of Engineering Chris Monnat
Put down your device, close the online magazine and pick up a book. Pause that episode of Stranger Things and boot up the computer. Don’t hit the snooze button, get up and build something!
I apologize if I’m too blunt, but there is a not-so-silent-war being waged today for our attention. We have 24-hour news cycles, season after season of binge worthy TV shows just a finger swipe away, and push notifications telling us how much fun our friends are having. It’s never been more difficult to sit down and get things done. At the same time however, it’s never been easier to create new things. Brian Wong, Co-founder of Kiip and author of the new book Cheat Code, puts it this way:
“Today is an incredible time to be alive. Opportunity is everywhere, and people have so much. There’s never been a more level playing field, thanks to the Internet. Today anyone who can afford a cell phone has access to the Internet, and we all know that the Internet is crammed with knowledge, and that knowledge is power.”
So the question remains: With knowledge and power so abundant, why aren’t you building something?
These days I‘m reviewing lots of resumes, as Phone2Action continues to grow our engineering team. The majority of them are good, proper grammar and punctuation, but I’ve noticed a lack of projects. Engineers are naturally curious people and as such we tend to accumulate a collection of experiments and pet projects. These can take the shape of improvements on existing things or attempts to do regular everyday things differently. These pet projects can lead in all kinds of cool directions and as such are great things to share with people.
As a start-up in today’s economy, Phone2Action is constantly building and finding new ways to innovate. We are looking at things differently. Everything from voter registration and contacting your elected official to locating your polling place, we take nothing for granted and are not afraid to question well established practices. And we are looking for a few good engineers who do the same.
By now, I’m sure you are wondering exactly what I have created? My story isn’t all that unique. I built my first web application when I was in high school and I had no idea what I was doing. I had examples and screenshots from a bunch of places of what I wanted to do, just no idea how to actually do it. So I went and bought a book, booted up the laptop and set to work. A few months later I had a prototype that helped me sell the idea. I then grew that prototype into a beta that allowed me to form a relationship with one client. I completed several iterations based on that one client’s feedback and as a result got several more new clients across the country. It’s been several years now since I sold that business but I still use the lessons and skills I learned from back when I had no idea what I was doing to this day.
I’m challenging you to build something. Don’t know what to build? Start with something that already exists and make it better. Maybe you have already built something. Think about rebuilding it in a different language or technology. Learn something. Build something. And let me know when you’re done, I’d love to take a look.