ship your
side project

A six-week online bootcamp for tech
professionals working on side projects.

Fall Session: 9/24 - 10/5

At Ship Your Side Project, we believe that you are more than just your day job.

We help developers, engineers, and tinkerers of all kinds successfully launch that website/app/game they've been building on the side. Our six-week bootcamp brings you together with other tech professionals and provides the tools, guidance, and accountability to get unstuck and finally ship that thing ... without ruining your life in the process.

Don't give up on your side project. Let us help you make it real.

Jason Shen

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Fall Applications are Open

The Fall round of Ship Your Side Project kicks off on Sat Sept 24th and runs through Sat Oct 5th. Submitting an application takes less than 10 mins — just tell us a bit about you and your project.

APPLY NOW

Last day to apply is Friday September 16th.

 

"Overall, the program was fantastic. I'm fairly disciplined and motivated by myself already but SYSP was the catalyst I needed to get over the initial friction of starting NTWRK and gain the momentum to carry it through to the end. So happy to have been part of this. It's measurably improved my life and happiness over the last couple months."

Joshua Pinter
NTWRK

 

Why is your side project still on the sidelines?

You're smart. You've got ideas. You can get stuff done. But every time you try to do a side project, something happens.

It starts off strong, but then you get busy. You get stuck. You get scared.

You fell off track and nothing got shipped.

It's easy to blame yourself. You're just not smart enough, not creative enough, not motivated enough, to make that podcast / blog / Meetup group work.

It turns out, the things that make you great at your job - having a clear mission, having accountability, and a community - are probably missing when it comes to your side project.

And that's where we come in.

How it Works

Ship Your Side Project offers a group of 30 professionals a chance to make significant progress on their side projects through clarity, accountability, and community.

The program lasts six weeks (2nd cohort starts in Mid September) with each week's theme and activities building on the last one. Participants should be prepared to devote at least 5 hours per week to the program and their side projects.

Each week includes two focused assignments, a video interview with a successful side project professional, and a Google hangout to discuss challenges, questions, and other issues.

Program Schedule

Every week of Ship Your Side Project was carefully developed to keep you on track and help you launch your project. Explore the program below:

In the first week, we ask you to take a step back and understand why this project matters to you. We also push you to get your project time on the calendar, with an emphasis on the consistent, ongoing effort (vs sporadic bursts of activity).

  • Assignment 1: Set the Stakes
  • Assignment 2: Build Consistency
  • Expert Interview: Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya / Creative Habit

In the second week, we're looking at where you want to be at the end of the program, with both final and midpoint goals. We also ask you to consider where and how you work most productively and arranage your space and schedule accordingly.

  • Assignment 3: Set Your Milestones
  • Assignment 4: Organize the Lab
  • Expert Interview: Brian Foo / Data-Driven DJ

By this week, you should start hitting your stride and making a lot of progress on your projects. We help you avoid past mistakes by thinking through what's worked before and what's failed for your previous side projects and we conduct a formal review of your midway progress.

  • Assignment 5: Mine Your Past
  • Assignment 6: Midprogram Checkin
  • Expert Interview: Rachel Nash / Upscale Hare

In this week, we are really starting to see things come together and our focus is on maintaining momentum. We'll ask you to look at ways to keep your projects fun and identify mentors, collaborators, and fans/customers for your work.

  • Assignment 7: Keep it Fun
  • Assignment 8: Build Your Tribe
  • Expert Interview: Lana Li / HelloLana

The finish line is now in sight, but the amount of work left can feel daunting and you might feel a little burned out and like you're running out of time. This week's assignments are designed to get you back on track and identify opportunities to eek out more time for your project

  • Assignment 9: Stealing Time
  • Assignment 10: Lapse/Relapse
  • Expert Interview: Jason Shen / Great F*cking Startup Advice

This is the final push! We're pushing you to pull out all the stops to launch your project. That means scoping down the work, putting a bandaid over uncompleted areas, and focusing on that first impression. This is also a chance to reflect back on everything that's happened and recommitting to the project.

  • Assignment 11: The Final Kick
  • Assignment 12: To Infinity and Beyond
  • Expert Interview: Jen Dewalt / 180 Websites

Expert Training

We've interviewed some of the most creative and prolific side-project professionals to understand how they approach their side projects. Each week, participants receive one new video with one of our experts.

Rachel Nash

Day Job: Product Designer at Etsy
Side Project: Upscale Hare, a handmade jewelry business

Jason Shen

Day Job: Product Manager, Etsy
Side Project: Great F*cking Startup Advice, a viral website with strong-worded advice for founders

Lana Li

Day Job: Creative Director at Teikametrics
Side Project: Hello Lana, a YouTube channel inspiring millenials to get creative in the kitchen

Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya

Day Job: Art Director at Primacy
Side Project: Creative Habit, a new illustration, finished in under one hour, released daily

Jennifer Dewalt

Day Job: Founder of Zube
Side Project: 180 Websites, learning to program by coding a website every day for 180 days

Brian Foo

Day Job: Application Developer at the New York Public Library
Side Project: Data-Driven DJ, music experiments that combine data, algorithms, and borrowed sounds

Who We Are

Jason Shen is a Product Manager at Etsy, previously co-founded a venture-backed YC startup, and served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow. He earned a BS and MS in Biology from Stanford where he was captain of the NCAA national champion mens gymnastics team.

Jason is the creator of Great Fucking Startup Advice and his blog The Art of Ass-Kicking has received 800,000 visitors since 2010.

Amanda Phingbodhippakkiya is an Art Director at Primacy, TED Resident, and founder & CEO of The Leading Strand, an initiative that uses design to shine a light on scientific research. She earned an MFA from Pratt Institute and a BA in Neuroscience and Behavior from Columbia.

Amanda is the creator of Creative Habit, a project where she illustrated a new piece of art every day — over 300 and counting.

Apply Now

The Fall round of Ship Your Side Project kicks off on Sat Sept 24th and runs through Sat Oct 5th. Submitting an application takes less than 10 mins — just tell us a bit about you and your project.

APPLY NOW

Last day to apply is Friday September 16th.

Testimonials

Here's what previous participants in Ship Your Side Project have to say about the program:

"Jason and Amanda, thank you very much. For the first time in my life it seems that I'm following a recipe guided by an experienced team and it is also working for me. I feel now like the dreamer entrepreneur on me finally found a partner also on me to be the executor. Today a friend not invited as beta user discovered my site totally on her own, subscribed and said she loved it."

Mario Gonsales Ishikawa
backyard.education

 

Adam Duvander
EveryDeveloper

"Ship Your Side Project was such a great experience for me. For years I have been tinkering with this idea of an API comparison website. SYSP provided the structure, the feedback, and the accountability for me to finish and ship my side project."

 

"Overall, the program was fantastic. I'm fairly disciplined and motivated by myself already but SYSP was the catalyst I needed to get over the initial friction of starting NTWRK and gain the momentum to carry it through to the end. So happy to have been a part of this. It has measurably improved my life and happiness over the last couple months."

Joshua Pinter
NTWRK

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost?

The program fee for Ship Your Side Project is $650. We are awarding a small number of heavily-discounted scholarships to disadvantaged applicants (see form).

How long is the program?

Fall session: Saturday 9/24 — Saturday 9/5. Applications are due Friday 9/16 Midnight Pacific

How much time does Ship Your Side Project take?

Participants should plan to devote at least 5 hours a week towards their project and SYSP throughout the course of the program.

Is Ship Your Side Project an online class?

No. The program is not meant to "teach" you new skill. It's meant to get you to take action - because you already know how to ship, you just have to do it.

Who is this for?

Ship Your Side Project is designed specifically for the needs of midcareer tech professionals. So if you're a designer, engineer, community manager, PM, or copywriter with 3-5 (or more) years of experience working at a startup, an agency, a dev shop, or a tech giant, you'll be right at home with this program. This isn't to say that people in other field or in other roles can't apply for the program or won't get a lot out of it, but because we are building a community, we think this type of person will get the most out of it and relate best to each other.

Why is an application necessary?

So much of the value of this program is assembling a diverse group of professionals who are ready to get to work, and want to support others in that journey. You will be sharing your work with others. The application helps understand whether you are ready to embark on this work, and allows us to shape a strong batch of members.