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08 | 2020

Start a Challenge already with the End In-Mind!

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Let’s be honest, we all have our own private zoo full of side projects of levels of completing which we will never finish.

Why is that? Curiosity is typically what makes us start side projects, but it is also the reason why we are so quickly drawn to some other topic, when the first impulse of curiosity is satisfied.

That’s why public learning challenges are great. As you commit to something in public it’s much harder to stop before your original goal is reached. The reason? You don’t just have to justify the decision for yourself but the public.

Peer pressure helps to not stop - cool. But is doesn’t keep you in the flow or help you remain in a good mood during hard times.

That’s why I want to share a method which I experienced to work very well for me. Is all about choosing the final project of your challenge already at day one.

How aiming high keeps my curiosity at a max

The effect of aiming high by setting goal which initially look impossible to reach is widely discussed in business books, startup blogs and podcasts.

These publications mostly focus on the idea that you achieve more, when aiming high, even when you won’t reach the initial goal.

In the context of the 100DaysOfHardware challenge the benefit is a different one. I picked my ambitious project for two reasons. First, it helps to have a very clear direction to build up a concise study plan - which eventually enables me to actually build the project. Second, in moments of doubt, I can always lift myself up again because it’s very clear what’s the final goal of the challenge.

I basically use the project as a constant curiosity booster.

Which works very well since it’s no a vague idea like “I want to know hardware better”, but real project waiting on the desk next to me waiting for me to grow the skills required to assemble it.

Project Sneak Peek

By now you probably, want to know what’s the project I choose, previously I referred to it on twitter as my “secret” project. It’s an older piece of technology which requires some reverse engineering to find out how it works. To give you a hint without telling to much I can show you the original control board.

control-board

Every other week I have been coming back to the board to try understand more about how it works. It has been tough and progress was slow, but it’s the project I want to complete at the end of challenge anyway. If it wouldn’t be hard, the project could barely called ambitious.

If you want to start your own hardware journey with your “Day 100 Project” in place from the beginning, here I have some tips for you.

How to find your “Day 100 Project”?

First of all you need to find out what you are really interested in. For me as a web engineer, interfaces and visually appealing projects are especially fascinating.

There are a couple of great resources where people show their projects and provide advice about how to build something similar.

No matter if you are more interested in the technical or the creative aspect of hardware, I am sure you find inspiration for your own “Day 100 Project” in one of those resources.

Are there questions left, or did new once spawned? Talk to me on twitter and most importantly keep learning about electronics, microcontrollers and IoT!