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RocketSim: An Essential Developer Tool
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The power of consistency in side projects

The success of your side projects can be mixed, but consistency brings power to your results. It’s often easier to start a new project when results are disappointing rather than sticking to that high-potential project you’ve always believed in.

I’ve been developing a few side projects over the years but managed to stay away from starting new projects while I still believed in existing ones. RocketSim and SwiftLee are my primary side projects, and both show the power of consistency that I want to share with you in this article.

Quality over quantity

Starting a new project is an easy way to leave behind the painful realization of slow results. You’ve started a side project, but you’re still not making the expected revenue after a few months. There might be challenging bugs, or you just got bored from building on a project you slowly stopped believing in.

While it’s tempting, I firmly believe starting a new project will result in the opposite of what you hope for. Let me be clear that I’m sharing my perspective, and there are probably examples of others who made a massive success by starting a new project. However, for me, consistency and focus on quality eventually resulted in the success I hoped for.

As I described before in Side Projects: 10 Tips for Being Successful, focus results in achievements. The more projects you start, the more distributed your focus. In most cases, the most significant success follows after several iterations, leading to a higher-quality product.

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The effect of consistency on expectations

With consistency comes expectations. As soon as I started writing articles weekly in 2018, my blog grew rapidly:

Consistency in writing articles resulted in rapid traffic growth.
Consistency in writing articles resulted in rapid traffic growth.

I started with traffic spikes but eventually found returning users to grow since they knew they could expect a new article every Tuesday. The consistency resulted in new article expectations and continuous quality growth.

A similar effect occurred for my side project RocketSim, a developer tool that enhanced Xcode’s Simulator. It took me more than a year to get to $1000 Monthly Recurring Revenue and only 3 months to go from $4000 to $5000:

Revenue growth can be compounding, with a slow start but increasing over time.
Revenue growth can be compounding, with a slow start but increasing over time.

The first version of the app was far from today’s version. Consistency and focus on quality improvements lead to higher retention, increased install-to-pay conversion, and lower subscription churn. Altogether, today’s RocketSim version leads to a much faster growth in recurring revenue than before.

Conclusion

Consistency and focus help your side projects to become more successful. If I didn’t start writing weekly or if I started a new Mac app instead of improving RocketSim, I’m sure I wouldn’t have had the success I have today. Whenever you begin a new side project, consider whether you genuinely want to share your time across multiple projects instead of focusing on your existing one.

If you like to prepare and optimize, even more, check out the optimization category page. Feel free to contact me or tweet me on Twitter if you have any additional tips or feedback.

Thanks!