- Jackie Spencer
On Going Your Own Way
Jimmy here, writing for once. I've been meaning to talk about this for quite a bit, just never found the time to do so, until now.
I want to talk about what happens when you strike out on your own, like what REALLY happens.
After 4 years at Amazon, I had saved enough money to strike it out on my own, but I was also lucky enough for Studio Kumiho to land a contract with <name redacted>.
This leads into my first of, perhaps, many points: have a detailed plan on what you're making, the cost, and how long it'll take. I left the comfort and stability of my big tech job to make something I believe in, I exited my area of expertise and took the reins in a role I had never done before. Fortunately, Studio Kumiho had the capital and contracts to absorb many slips and falls during the startup process, but not everyone can do that.
In the past year and a half, Project Chang-e made significant gains in its development, and we even finished A Sound Plan along with it! 2019 was a whirlwind year for us. Honestly, without the capital and contract, things would have been far more stressful.
Something that people don't really talk about when making a passion project: All decisions run through you, and when you get feedback from others, it REALLY hurts. There are times when you feel like you've completely failed, where you feel like you made literally every wrong decision you could. I fight these feelings everyday, and if you wanna go on a similar venture, prepare yourself.
Sometimes, that feedback comes in the form of crickets, and no matter what you try, people just don't get excited, and that's when the pain really hits.
When the pain gets really intense, sometimes it's best to take a day off, take a long bath, or do something to take the edge off. Making a passion project is a marathon, not a sprint. If you're gonna put your best into the project, you need to be at your best.
With downers like that, is there an upside to any of this? Of course there are: You get to be your own boss, you can manage your time, and you have near unlimited creative freedom, it's like bowling without the guard rails! Where before you had a manager to shield you from the day to day randomness and feedback, now you ARE the manager!
To end this on a better note: All the hard work we put into A Sound Plan culminated in us going to the Indie MEGABOOTH at PAX West! So there are victories here and there.