Finishing Your Projects Hack Chat

Zack Freedman on project follow-through

Wednesday, February 10, 2021 12:00 pm PST Local time zone:
Hack Chat and YouTube
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Zack Freedman will host the Hack Chat on Wednesday, February 10 at noon Pacific.

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Try as we might, some of us are much better at starting projects than finishing them. Our benches -- or all too often, our notebooks -- are graveyards of good attempts, littered with the scraps of ideas that really sounded good at the time and clouded by a miasma of good intentions and protestations that "This time, it'll be different." Spoiler alert: no, it won't.

Trying to pin the cause of this painfully common problem on something specific is probably a fool's errand, especially when given the fact that some people mysteriously don't suffer from it, it would appear brain chemistry plays a role. Maybe some people just really like the dopamine hit of starting something new, which gives them the rush of excitement while the idea is still fresh, only to have it wane rapidly as the project enters the churn.

Whatever it is, if you suffer from it, chances are good you've looked for a way out at least once. If so, you'll want to hop into this Hack Chat, where "very serious hacker" Zack Freedman, proprietor of the Voidstar Labs channel on YouTube, will share his thoughts on project follow-through. We've enjoyed Zack's projects for a while now, and covered a few, from his in-your-face (on-your-wrist?) smartwatch to his video editing keypad. He gets stuff done, perhaps in part due to his workshop organization, but however he does it, we're eager to hear about it. Join us as we discuss the art of follow-through and getting stuff done

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 3

    Dan Maloney02/10/2021 at 22:23 0 comments

    aidanprocopio1:39 PM

    @sami my dad used to have a e30. my mom made him sell it to get someting new though

    DangabeGriffiin1:40 PM
    are there any questions you want us to ask

    sami1:40 PM
    @aidanprocopio it's such an amazing car am literally in love

    @aidanprocopio Try again

    m.robles16002097761:41 PM
    now it works

    sami1:41 PM
    @aidanprocopio you should buy one i think they are not very expensive

    aidanprocopio1:41 PM
    @Zack Freedman can we please see the optagon from the inside? I know I have asked like 10 times, but I really want to see it

    theTruthBeSold1:41 PM
    You talked about having the right tools to finish projects. What tool or thing did you get that you thought might be a single use, but has been just generally useful?

    wiktor.brzostek1231:41 PM
    How to get yourself to go and do a project you were planning??

    aidanprocopio1:41 PM
    @sami I can't really buy one, since I'm 13

    redleader361:42 PM
    @sami have you looked at the Speeduino project?

    m.robles16002097761:42 PM
    How do you get your project ideas!!!

    aidanprocopio1:42 PM
    @sami I think my dad's was $3500 in pretty good condition.

    ian1:43 PM
    @Zack Freedman im strait up just to broke to buy parts what should i do to quench my thirst to make ?

    m.robles16002097761:43 PM
    nerf dart counter

    Richard DeBellevue1:43 PM
    @Zack Freedman My biggest obstacle on getting projects done is finding time between all of the other things I have going on around the house. Any tips on getting projects done when you have just a bit of time each day?

    mhgwilliams1:43 PM
    @Zack Freedman Do you try to learn concepts during projects or before you start them?

    sami1:43 PM
    @redleader36 yes i did and it did help me but i want to force myself to create my own thing to learn a bit more thanks ;)

    Joseph Cole1:44 PM
    Hi, Do you sketch your ideas out or outline your steps before you begin your projects?

    jonathan hunt joined the room.1:44 PM

    jonathan hunt1:44 PM
    i have trouble finding out what kind of projects to do, theres such a huge abundance of things that i could do that i end up being paralyzed by all the possibilities, how do you navigate around that?

    wiktor.brzostek1231:44 PM
    How to get yourself to get your ass up and do something?

    timi.temlin21 joined the room.1:45 PM

    stefano joined the room.1:46 PM

    sami1:46 PM
    @jonathan hunt see if you can find something that your social human side want to do and find a way to do it with electronics

    timi.temlin211:46 PM
    hey man what was the hardest thing to learn in electronics or what was the hardest thing you never understood and was hard to figure it out?

    m.robles16002097761:47 PM
    So kind of like the one musicians use

    m.robles16002097761:47 PM
    well anybody uses

    stefano1:47 PM
    hello everyone, i made the sunglasses from hitch hikers guide to the galaxy tday. the ones which go black when they sense danger!

    aidanprocopio1:47 PM

    chalmers1:48 PM
    @Zack Freedman How do you manage contact with your clients? Especially if the client is short on time?

    aidanprocopio1:48 PM
    before we leave

    JosephGertz1:48 PM
    how do i bypass lightspeed sistems firewall.

    Tom Nardi1:48 PM
    Perhaps there is a website that will showcase your completed hacks...

    @stefano -- Sounds cool, I'd love to see that. Project page?

    morgan1:48 PM

    Tom Nardi1:48 PM
    Perhaps even one a day

    redleader361:48 PM
    @Zack Freedman Do you use any software to track projects -- Freedcamp, Trello, Excel, anything like that? If so, does project management help you?

    timi.temlin211:49 PM
    hey man what was the hardest thing to learn in electronics or what was the hardest thing you never understood and was hard to figure it out?

    m.robles16002097761:49 PM
    I want to look at the optagon NOWWWW!!!!!!

    stefano1:49 PM
    @Dan Maloney i might upload a video to my yt but i havent post anything online about it yet.

    Looking forward to it!

    aidanprocopio1:49 PM
    @m.robles1600209776 YES

    JosephGertz1:49 PM
    how do...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 2

    Dan Maloney02/10/2021 at 22:21 0 comments

    itsshreyarora12:49 PM

    is it cool if i do everything with an rpi and a bunch of relays?

    itsshreyarora12:50 PM
    cool its rpis and relays,,, big tech can get tf outt

    sn3ll12:50 PM
    @Zack Freedman Do you have any advice on making videos from your projects?

    joeykrause3712:50 PM
    if i stop chatting it means i got electrocuted by the battery im playing with

    aidanprocopio12:50 PM
    Is the chat on the optagon? Can you hold it up so we can see what the glasses look like from the inside?

    joeykrause3712:50 PM
    no its not

    aidanprocopio12:50 PM

    Michael Murillo12:50 PM
    I like onshape as opposed to autocad

    Mikael Grön12:51 PM
    @Zack Freedman : Tried mindfulness? It helped me to get rid of some of my dist... Oh look, a squirrel!

    Generic Human12:51 PM
    How do you finish a project you've lost interest in?

    Michael Murillo12:51 PM
    onshape has the same workflow as solidworks

    Ticktok12:51 PM
    I made the full freecad switch and i'm never looking back

    morgan12:51 PM
    @itsshreyarora I mentioned this before (and on YT), I'm using NodeRED/Tasamoto/ESPHome for my home automation and it keeps things really simple (low code for me)

    Tom Nardi12:51 PM
    OpenSCAD 4 lyfe

    ian12:51 PM
    big desk for the win

    austinlambert82 joined the room.12:51 PM

    aidanprocopio12:52 PM
    Can we see what the optagon looks like from the inside?

    samsam joined the room.12:52 PM

    Ben joined the room.12:52 PM

    theTruthBeSold12:52 PM
    @Zack Freedman What's a good starter project for learning PCB design?

    Samantha12:52 PM
    @Zack Freedman how do you feel about implantable computers and microchips?

    Inne12:52 PM
    When starting a project I really get a drive to put effort in stuff about the project (not project itself). Stuff like over-planning, flowcharts, super specific milestones preferably in an automated way so it is easy to update share etc. How do you handle wasting motivation on this, how do you know what is worth doing and what holds you back.

    Telra12:52 PM
    Question Zack❓ what is your input on Humanoid Android in the DIY Space❓

    Inne12:53 PM
    You seem like a man that sees opportunities everywhere. How would you prevent these new opportunities from distracting you from current projects.

    austinlambert8212:53 PM
    How do you balance learning skills with projects? For example, learning to 3d model can take a lifetime, but learning enough to complete the project at hand may only take a couple hours. At the same time, only a couple hours of learning may cause you to do things wrong for a long time if you never circle around and continue learning.

    sn3ll12:54 PM
    @Zack Freedman Do you have any advice on making videos from your projects?

    vasilevvs10 joined the room.12:54 PM

    Jade Paradox12:54 PM
    what if you have to save up money for the project for several weeks/months before you can get started?

    Telra12:55 PM
    Question Zack❓ what is your input on Humanoid Android in the DIY Space❓

    MiteZ12:55 PM
    What happened to the new Optigon and what to the data glove

    ian12:56 PM
    @Zack Freedman how do u deal with the buy vs diy dilemma?

    Ticktok12:56 PM
    I like that look mum no computer made a second channel for his making videos so they can be long and dry and detailed for those that want to watch that(like me)

    Ticktok12:57 PM

    Nemanja Vukmirovic12:57 PM
    So i am working on a project (code) for a client that is several thousand miles away...

    I wouldn't have any problems if he had defined everything upstart, but while working he is thinking of more and more features that already intervene with my existing code so I am on a peak of trashing everything and starting again...

    Question: Do you work projects as a freelancer if so how are you dealing with bad | way expecting clients?

    James Finch12:57 PM
    I got hooked on DesignSpark Mechanical.

    DJ joined the room.12:57 PM

    idontwanttotell12:57 PM
    What if you lose interest after getting all the parts? @Zack Freedman

    morgan12:57 PM
    yyyyeah, it does that

    Tom Nardi12:58 PM
    I thought we had that chat scrolling thing fixed, but seems it's...

    Read more »

  • Hack Chat Transcript, Part 1

    Dan Maloney02/10/2021 at 22:19 0 comments

    OK folks, here we go. Welcome to the Hack Chat, I'm Dan and I'll be moderating today for Zack Freedman. We're going to talk about follow through on projects and actually finishing some of the projects you've got on your bench for a change. We're also livestreaming on YouTube, so tune in there too:

    Mikael Grön12:01 PM
    @Zack Freedman : What's on your HUD right now?

    Just so you know, we'll be mostly taking questions here on the Hack Chat, and Zack will be answering them on the YT stream

    chalmers joined the room.12:01 PM

    Jeff joined the room.12:02 PM

    matthewbbarthet12:02 PM
    @Dan Maloney Obvious question, what do i need to start making projects and where do i go for ideas and advice?

    idontwanttotell12:02 PM
    @Zack Freedman Do you finish every project do you start now?

    chalmers12:02 PM
    @Zack Freedman How do you deal with parnters backing out from projects?

    Ticktok joined the room.12:02 PM

    Ajb2k312:02 PM
    @Zack Freedman are you watching another stream on your hud?

    logici5588 joined the room.12:02 PM

    FYI, I'll post a transcript on the IO chat right after we're done.

    Give the gift of life to someone else, wear a mask joined the room.12:03 PM

    Ryo Kimball joined the room.12:04 PM

    elmoelmojr joined the room.12:04 PM

    James Finch12:04 PM
    Lag time? B^|)

    Jim Brahney joined the room.12:04 PM

    I got a quick dropout, but looking good so far

    andreas joined the room.12:05 PM

    Ryo Kimball12:05 PM
    Talking about the projects is further motivation for me. It feels liek I need more social interaction on a lot of the things I do and if I just stay locked in my head I tend to let them fade into the incomplete pile.

    Peter Walsh12:05 PM
    Dropout here too.

    Dillin Smith joined the room.12:05 PM

    Jim Brahney12:05 PM
    How do you decide which project to start if you have multiple in mind?

    idontwanttotell12:05 PM
    @Ryo Kimball Its opposite for me

    Peter Walsh12:06 PM
    Jim Brahney: Which one would be most valuable to you when finished?

    elmoelmojr12:06 PM
    Is a button board a good way to start microcontroller projects?

    Inne12:06 PM
    What's your opinion on contests, with regards to finishing stuff. A distraction that forces you to postpone/steer projects in a different direction. Or is it free hardware with an extra motivation to finish stuff. Ever felt that you get parts you wouldn't use otherwise and now need extra effort in finding out how they work.

    James Finch12:06 PM
    Critical paths if time is a thing... planning for lag time in each step was something I learned with time constraints on critical projects where it's like get it done or no more funding.

    Richard DeBellevue joined the room.12:06 PM

    brezel07gaming12:07 PM
    i wanna buy a resin printer but my dad says i have to have an idea to make profits to pay it off, any ideas?

    morgan12:07 PM
    just started with the Elegoo Mars, $150 and great so far

    Richard DeBellevue12:07 PM
    I use a Voxelab proxima, it is a mono printer that I picked up for $210 on amazon

    Richard DeBellevue12:07 PM
    it's comparable with a elegoo mars 2 imo

    Zaydan12:08 PM
    How do you deal with selecting between different options you can choose for a project?

    ✖️Jonathan joined the room.12:08 PM

    Generic Human12:08 PM
    How do you fight losing interest in a project?

    Richard DeBellevue12:09 PM
    What system do you use to keep track of notes/progress on projects/ideas when you have multiple projects going on and have a lot to keep track of? I know I could settle on just one project, but I do like having several irons in the fire so to speak...

    elmoelmojr12:09 PM
    Whats the best microcontroller project to do when you want to dive in?

    marquevichi joined the room.12:09 PM

    discordia joined the room.12:10 PM

    Zeke12:10 PM
    How long should projects exist before you act on them? I've had a lot of ideas for things I could do that just never get acted on.

    James Murphy12:10 PM
    Would anyone have ideas on how to create a device that would store Digitnal MP4 type Videos and Play them out so Old Style S-VHS required input devices....

    Read more »

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