Best of all, this “solve your own problem” approach lets you fall in love with what you’re making. You know the problem and the value of its solution intimately. There is no substitute for that.
I’ve started many side projects and worked on a lot of full-time projects. The ones that I’ve enjoyed working on the most are those that I have a personal stake in. For instance, with CardioMEMS, the reason I replied to the recruiter’s email was I had a newborn daughter with a pulmonary stenosis and was learning as much about the heart and her condition as I could. CardioMEMS was a product I immediately cared about because I understood the importance of improving the quality of life for those with heart conditions. Almost 7 years later and I still enjoy working on the product and seeing the results in our patients lives.
When you scratch your own itch your work becomes fulfilling and meaningful.
Note: This is part of a series of posts inspired by re-reading Rework, by DHH and Jason Fried.