The other day, I stumbled upon an older article by DHH. “Work on what you use and share the rest”.
My core philosophy about open source is that we should all be working on the things that we personally use and care about. Working for other people is just too hard and the quality of the work will reflect that. But if we all work on the things we care about and then share those solutions between us, the world gets richer much faster.
I’ve been keeping this in the back of my mind the past few months.
I was always adding features because I’d expect other people to expect them. It’s a trap! You’re not making people happier by guessing what they might need. You’re not doing anyone a disservice by building things for yourself.
Building things for yourself makes it easier to ship something you feel happy about. It makes it easier to ship something at all.
Don’t forget to be selfish as an open source maintainer every now and then. It’s a good investment in the long run.
I used to fall in the trap of thinking I needed to add features because other people might expect them to be a part of my code, not because I need them myself.