Chapter 1: Beginning Your Pet Projects Adventure - The Initial Step


4 min read

Hi guys,

Today I'd like to share with you all about the Pet Projects journey, from zero to hero, including my real experience.

There would be around 4~5 chapters I think, hehe. But first thing first, let's start with Chapter 1 here.

In case you guys didn't know what a "Pet Project" is, it's essentially a project that you undertake for fun, to learn, or to generate some passive income.

In Chapter 1, I'll share some basic knowledge before you guys start to create a new project.


  • app: it can be a web app, website or mobile app. Based on your professional skills.

  • Pet Project : your own project that you do for fun, learn or generate passive income.

The Ideas

Yes, one of the most important aspects of starting a new project is generating ideas. You might ask yourself questions like:

  • What should I do?

  • What would the project look like?

  • What problems it would solve?

  • ...

However, don't overthink or get too far ahead of yourself. Ideas become achievable when you tackle them one at a time, rather than attempting a massive leap from the beginning to the end goal.

You can even borrow ideas from other popular apps, but whatever they do, strive to do it "better."

Example ideas:

  • A simple e-commerce app

  • A showcase app

  • A forum app

  • A blog app

  • A management system app (invoices, payments, money tracking,...)

  • ...

If you are uncertain about your idea, contact your colleagues or friends, enjoy a coffee together, and discuss it enthusiastically. Multiple people contribute knowledge from various perspectives. Ultimately, you will gather everything you need to refine and finalize your idea.

The Goals

Got the idea? Great. Now let's discuss the goals. What is your desired outcome with this idea?

If you don't have clear goals, your project will likely be abandoned within a few days (or weeks) of work, and you'll forget about it soon after. It's quite a waste, isn't it?

Big Goal

Doing a pet project would bring you 3 goals:

  • Learning opportunities & enhancing the hard skills ๐Ÿš€

    • Tech (new lang, new framework, hands-on experience,...)

      • Recommended to always use trendy tech ๐Ÿ˜†
    • Domain

  • Generating passive income ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Don't be afraid to deploy your project after finished it and share it with the whole world.
  • (Optional) Your next startup project (open a company) ๐Ÿฅน

    • When generating passive income is so advantageous, you may want to consider this option.

Note: if it is mainly to improve your hard skills, I'd suggest publishing your project to GitHub, you might earn some stars haha.

Small Goals

Goals are straightforward; simply establish multiple objectives based on milestones and focus on accomplishing them.

I usually create multiple phases, for instance:

  • Phase 1:

    • Tech decision

      • Backend, eg: PHP 8.2 + Laravel, Deno + Express, MySQL/Postgres,...

      • Frontend, eg: React, Vue, Swelte, TailwildCSS,...

    • Initialize the Project

      • Create repositories

      • Create projects

    • Core

      • Develop the perfect structure for your ideal world (relying on no one but yourself).

      • Create the essential "core" components for your projects, such as models, libraries, and so on.

      • (Optional) Prepare the Unit & Integration testing, it would come in handy

  • Phase 2:

    • Work on some first features:

      • Authentication

      • Authorization

      • Some basic Entities CRUD

      • Admin Dashboard

      • Web/Mobile app first look

  • Phase 3: continue to add features

  • Phase 4: continue to add more features, fix bugs,...

Upon completing Phase 2, I'll gain significant momentum to move forward. Therefore, maintain your focus on the second part following the project initialization.

The Market

This is optional, but it is essential for those who wish to generate revenue from the project.

You need to understand your market, the demand, and the number of customers or clients from your current country (or other countries).

I would recommend conducting thorough research using tools such as Google Trends, keyword searches, Twitter, LinkedIn... Investigate popular apps and stay informed about current trends in order to better understand your market, its demand, and the potential customer base within your country or abroad.

Conclusion of Chapter 1

That's all for Chapter 1 - The initial step. You'd need to know & find:

  • The Ideas

  • The Goals

  • (Optional) The Market

With all of that, let's get started to work on your next-level project ๐Ÿ”ฅ.

Thanks for reading!