Several years ago, a writer I follow online published a letter detailing their wishlist for a specific piece of software.

I was surprised and delighted when I realized that I could build the whole thing, start to finish. What a boost of confidence! I dedicated the next several weekends building the thing, launched it, and made my very first dollar online from that same writer of the wishlist.

Software out of nothing. Someone had an idea, put it into words, I saw those words and turned it into software.

While I have put that particular software business on the back burner, I think about it often and it has shaped my thinking in several ways:

For me, this was the first time that I traded something other than time for money. Yes, I spent time building it, and no, the revenue I made would not come close to minimum wage considering the time I spent on the project. But for the first time there was the potential that a few dozen, a few hundred customers could actually send their credit card information to Stripe and those charges would actually make it into my bank account.

I have made a few of my own software wishlists from time to time, daydreaming of the software I would like to build if I had the time. There is something incredibly fun about designing, creating something in my head when I can willfully ignore things like “practicality” and “opportunity cost”. I give myself permission to daydream without those constraints, for a time, but then strive to only move forward to implement the ideas that best fit my goals.

For those ideas that I realistically will not implement myself in the near future, I intend to start publishing them here, along with an offer: if you, reader, build a piece of software to the exact specifications of one of my daydream wishlists, I will pay you for it.

I can’t promise the moon, I can’t promise minimum wage. I won’t sign up for a recurring subscription, but if you offer a self-hosted version with a lifetime license I will pay.