The two books I loved the most during my elementary school years were the Young Adult Encyclopedia and Robinson Crusoe. Reflecting now, these two books may have shaped my way of thinking and even my life’s journey. If I had to mention one strength of mine, it’s that I’m always curious. That’s the fundamental reason I chose to become an independent creator.
There are several terms related to independent creators: Indie Hacker, Solopreneur, Super Individual, One-Person Company, and more. Still, my favorite is ‘independent creator’ because it aptly captures what I truly want to do: convert ideas into products independently and solve problems creatively.
Why go through the hassle instead of getting a regular job?
My insatiable curiosity ensured I never had a particularly weak subject throughout my growth, but the downside is a lack of specialization. This isn’t exactly job-friendly since specialized roles are more in demand. But the AI era favors those with immense curiosity. With just a basic understanding, AI can elevate my knowledge to above 70%. A few years ago, I wanted to try independent creation. Since then, I’ve graduated, worked, and even started businesses. Now, AI has given me even more confidence to take the plunge.
Being an independent creator offers maximum freedom. Freedom, a luxury in this era, has a tangible impact on life. I can choose when and where to work, avoiding the hustle and bustle of big cities and peak commute times. I can focus on high creativity tasks without the need for daily or weekly reports. I get to choose who I associate with, avoiding time-consuming icebreakers and team buildings. Most importantly, I can maximize my comprehensive abilities and creativity, instead of fitting into a larger ‘puzzle’.
Why not just start a business then?
In essence, independent creation is a minimalist approach to entrepreneurship. I’m tired of the grandiose void of traditional startups. Venture capitalists aren’t looking for a 50% return; they could invest in restaurants or hotels for that. They aim for ten, a hundred, or even a thousand-fold returns. To achieve that requires immense pressure and endless growth. I don’t have those grand ambitions. The ability to create something valuable and make a living from it is enough for me.
On a congested city road, an e-scooter can be faster than many cars, reaching specific destinations quicker. And who knows? Maybe I’d discover new horizons just wandering around.
A new choice
It seems our choices have dwindled in recent years. Everyone seems to either strive in big corporations, attempt public exams, or just lie low. I want to explore something new. In the AI era, independent creation makes sense for many. I foresee people leaving companies due to AI-induced unemployment, while others won’t rely on corporations, thanks to AI’s empowerment. The rise of individualism is inevitable, and independent creation will become a choice for many.
Isn’t a life where everyone maximizes their abilities and lives freely a beautiful path? Hence, exploring independent creation is of great significance and value.
Looking back a year later
Although confident, I still have many lessons to learn to find if this suits me. Hence, I’ve set a one-year experimental phase. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll persevere for at least a year.
Work Hard, Play Hard I’ll strictly follow a 3-6-9 work pattern, working intensively for three weeks, then taking a week off. During my work weeks, I’ll focus on the product, and during breaks, I’ll rest and socialize. Essentially, I’m not aiming for short-term goals but a long-term life plan.
Ship Fast, Ship More Ideally, I hope to launch a new product every work week. Though this is ambitious, I aim to launch at least one app every month until good feedback arrives.
Don’t Panic This has been my WeChat signature for years. Fans of sci-fi will recognize it. For me, the creation process is a joy. Even if this year doesn’t go as planned, the journey itself is rewarding. I’ll remain calm and won’t set overly specific targets. Just wandering around the galaxy is enough.