What happens when you run out of low hanging fruit?


As some of you may know, I’m working on a project called Shift SMS which allows you to simply schedule and manage your staff with text messages (as if you’ve missed that on all my my blog posts and or social medias).  Having to teach myself programming has been one of the less outwardly exciting parts of the process, but it is something that I do find extremely interesting to do.  The most challenging part is that for a person like me who is a big fan of small wins and creative ways to hack around big problems, there are virtually none in the programming community, at least to the beginner.  It’s a hard thing to learn that takes a lot of time to do.

I find a lot of motivation in quick wins because they generate a rapid amount of output that can propel momentum.  With Shift SMS, I completed the landing page, wrote some blogs, opened the relevant social media accounts, etc. in all less than a week.  Having that rapid pace of growth in terms of what can be seen and visually assessed really helps motivate yourself to go forward.  So what happens when you run out of low hanging fruit?

If you imagine this tree of said fruit, the low hanging fruit consists of probably less than 20% of the fruit on the tree.  The remaining 80% is all the way fucking up there, which makes up the bulk of your work.  And while the amount of work required to get up there to get your next 20% of fruit is way higher, that basket is only going to look twice as big.  You don’t look as impressive as you did when you got your first 20% of fruit.  You’re not working any slower, but you’re getting incrementally less.  For me, I’m wondering if I’m actually doing any work because I haven’t had anything to really show for it since the first interface beta was hacked together.  It’s made me stray away a bit and take my eye off the ball.  Distractions are affecting the laser-like focus from when I first started.  I don’t feel like I’m achieving as much.

As a pretty narcissistic person, this is a devastating blow to take.  I pride myself on being more competitive and knowledgeable than a lot of my peers and having to take the slow lane in anything really affects my competitive spirit.  I think I can truly be the best at anything I put my mind to, but programming is definitely one tough nut to crack.


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