Don’t wait for it. Make it.
All of us use products and services daily that are imperfect. We keep using them because they are good enough, and nothing else better exists. We resign ourselves to their mediocrity.
If you are like me, it always bothers you. It’s not something you lose sleep over, but every time you use it you’re reminded of the tiny annoyances and your inner voice says, “I wish I could make something better that does exactly what I want it to do and nothing else.”
For me, that thing has been the current offerings of contact relationship managers (CRMs). I haven’t found a CRM that I like and want to use to this day. Everything is over-engineered or forces me to use features that I don’t want. It’s why I’ve been obsessing over building my own CRM, and am slowly getting closer to that dream.
Recently, I learned that a mediocre thing I use daily would soon cease to function, and its alternatives aren’t mediocre; they are abysmal. The best way to describe them is a UX nightmare that sucks all joy out of your life. That’s when I knew I had to make a replacement and not wait for somebody else to do it.
I needed a Chrome extension for quickly previewing Open Graph metadata. It’s a tool I use every day at my job, for my projects, and occasionally on random sites while browsing. Creating an extension meant that I could include only the features I wanted and make it a joy to use.
I was fortunate enough to have the web developer working on my CRM be available to help me build the extension over a weekend. He was able to put the finishing touches on it by Sunday, and I submitted it to the Chrome Web Store that night. Two days later, the Open Graph Checker was approved and added to the Chrome Web Store.
It isn’t easy to put into words how satisfying it feels to make something that you use. The best way to describe it is a long-lasting burst of mental energy and excitement that lasts for days.
Ultimately, there are several reasons we choose never to make things, and they typically revolve around a lack of experience, confidence, money, focus, or time. We also don’t create things because we’re worried that nobody will want to use them.
If you are passionate about it and have the resources to make it, make it for yourself. Create something that solves your problems. Once created, it may never become widely used, but it will bring you joy and remove a small percentage of mediocrity from your daily life. And if you’re fortunate, you may have just created the next big thing.