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Andy Leverenz

December 11, 2016

Last updated November 5, 2023

10 free ideas for side projects

Side projects are what truly keep me inspired day in and day out. Even if you're working on a client project or business you are passionate about I think finding time for something different on the side is ideal for an entrepreneur.

Before you start a project read this

Similar to the investing world I find diversification to be key at becoming successful with side projects. You wouldn't put all your hard-earned dollars in one stock and expect long term success. Instead, you spread into many markets so if one venture tanked you still had the others to keep you afloat. Invest smart and you won't suffer.

This same concept sounds all too similar to the product world. You think of a new idea. Prototype it. Share it to see if anyone sees value in it. If they like it, you refine the prototype into something more scalable. If they don't like it, you kill it and start over with a new idea. The big difference between the investing world and the product world is time.

When it comes to creating products you want to fail fast if failing is inevitable. Take a look at the big picture of what you are trying to solve. Ask yourself if it's worthy of your time. If the future is bleak, I would can it immediately. Speed matters a lot in the tech world. Competition right now is unreal and things are getting more automized. Now's the time to get your ideas out there.

Remember, side projects shouldn't always be about monetary gain. Suppose you want to share knowledge, support a good cause, or create something completely new that gives back in some way.

If that sounds like something you would be interested in then I think you're a good candidate for the role. Too many makers and shakers create in hopes to only make money. It really devalues the market we live in and spreads ideas, content, and opinions that are otherwise foul.

Having said all of that. Here are 10 free ideas for side projects

  1. Build an online trading community - An online community with users who can trade rather than buy free of charge.
  2. Build a vlog featuring screencasts of your entire process during a project.
  3. Build a community that revolves around finding quality job leads as opposed to the crappy ones you see on sites like or Bring value back to the service industry!
  4. Write a book about transitioning from a full-time position into a freelance role.
  5. If you're moving or gearing up for a move, document your entire process with video and a blog. Later, create a guide for others to learn from who may be doing the same in the future.
  6. Create a blog featuring only interviews of industry leaders, makers, and shakers.
  7. Create a local meet up around a topic of your choosing. Scale that mother to become something great. Promote it, share it, invite others to speak at it. Don't half-ass it!
  8. Create a free chrome extension that tells you when you're not being productive based on the websites you visit.
  9. Create yet another free stock photography site that features more realistic photos that you wouldn't otherwise find on websites like or Photos of the not so beautiful things that exist.
  10. Create a vlog that debunks onboarding processes of products already in the wild. Document what patterns you find and share them so other designers can learn from the good patterns and the not so good patterns.

Take these ideas and run with them. You owe me nothing. I just want to help others, help others. Remember to pay it forward and do the same.

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