I think I’ve settled on my 2023 word of the year: generous. Specifically (although not exclusively) generous in the projects I work on. I’m always working on some form of software in my spare time, but most of the time I keep this software just for myself. I want to do less of this, and start sharing it with others. You could say that I want to get better at shipping, but shipping to me is making the software usable for what it’s designed for, and for many of the projects I build, it’s only designed for me and my needs. Shipping’s for myself is no longer enough, I want to start shipping for others.
This word ties in nicely with the words over the last couple of years. Last year my word was finishing: following through on delivering something that goes beyond just the merely usable. The year before it was sharing: not being afraid to talk about it. Both of these desired qualities are still a work in progress, but I feel like I’m getting better at these. But the focus has been on solving my own needs. I think now’s the time to start looking at the needs of others.
Like last year, this word is not one from Nicholas Bate’s list of words, although if it were to be closest to anything, it will probably be entrepreneur. In fact, my 2023 word was originally going to be entrepreneur, but I wasn’t fully onboard with this. Someone approaches me and says “I want to be an entrepreneur,” I immediately think that person wants to start a business, get VC funding, go for growth, etc. and that’s not something I’d like to do at this stage (maybe at any stage, but I don’t want to speak for future me). And maybe those feelings are unfair. Maybe a better way to look at it is thinking of terms of entrepreneur as someone who solves the problems of others. You read the works of Seth Goden or Nicholas Bates and you’re more likely to associate those qualities with that word.
But, whatever. I’ll start with generous for the moment and we’ll see how we go.