make what you need

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Make what you need is an IndieWeb principle that helps creators focus on creating & publishing things prioritized by what they need & want for their own personal site.

Make tools for yourself first, not for all of your friends or ”everyone“. If you design tools for some hypothetical user, they may not actually exist; if you make tools for yourself, you actually do exist.

By making something that satisfies your needs, and is backwards compatible for others, e.g. by practicing POSSE, you benefit immediately, without having to convince anyone else. If and when others join, you all benefit.


The following metaphors may also be help explain this principle, depending on which resonate the most with folks:

Cook what you want

Cook what you want is the counterpart (preceding) to eat what you cook, and a metaphor that may appeal to people who like to cook their own meals.

Grow what you need

Grow what you need is a metaphor perhaps more appealing to gardeners, who have experience with growing plants for their own needs & desires.


Scratch Your Own Itch

Scratch your own itch was the previous expression of this principle, but as a metaphor.


Expand from you to others

There's a pathway from "make what you need" to "make what you & your close ones need" to "make what you & your community(s) need" that would be worth documenting / exploring.

The goal is to make real pragmatic progress, in close enough proximity that you can tell that what you’re making is having a positive impact on close circles expanding outwards, without falling into the mass adoption antipattern / trap.

Be aware of what features you've built for yourself that may not be useful to others, and consider making a switch to turn off those features.

See Also