8 Side-Project Ideas That Could Get Big

Many have written about big initatives that should get tackled.

Here's a slightly different list: small project ideas that might get big. If you're excited about any of these, play the Pioneer Tournament! It's designed to help you take your project to the next level.

Play now.

GoodReads + Sci-Hub
Though the legal status is questionable, Sci-Hub is proving to be an amazing resource for thousands of budding researchers who don’t have the means to pay for access to publications. Make a better one with great recommendations, search and most importantly: crowd sourced annotations and highlights!
Better Google Apps Script
GAS is a great way to manipulate various Gmail, Sheets and Docs data but it’s a pain to use and debug. Make this 10X easier. The user of your product should be able to start writing Python to manipulate Google Sheets within seconds of seeing your site.
Quantify Engineering Productivity
Developing tight feedback loops to quantify human productivity is one of the most important and underrated problems our society faces. Within engineering, one bad metric is total lines of code written. Assuredly we can do better! There are millions of pull requests online. Millions of comments. Train on that, and build a model that assesses if an engineer had a productive day or not.
git deploy gdocs
Current workflow: write text, get feedback, copy text, paste text in codebase, deploy text. That’s broken. Have one source of record in the original document. Using your framework, I should be able to instantly link a document to a static page.
Partial Agonists for Sugar
Obesity is a huge epidemic. Many drugs like Metformin are attacking the problem directly. As far as we know, little to no effort has been done on making drugs that cause you to dislike consuming sugar. A half step would be to develop a partial agonist like Chantix. An even more aggressive option would be to make a drug that causes nausea or a headache when you consume sugar. If you could give that to adults, the feedback loop might correct itself.
Cultural NPS in Chrome
Culture surveys are a huge market. Leaders want to know how people feel. But they’re annoying to do, and often capture people at the wrong moment. Instead, sell a Chrome plugin that gives employees a few quick options to select from every time they open a new tab. Lightweight, frictionless measurement. Publish global leaderboards on the “happiest companies."
You often send emails to lots of people where the replies ("yes I can make it!") are collected into a spreadsheet. With your service, you can simply CC XXX@your-website.com and have the replies collected into a Google Sheet. Make it frictionless to get started. No sign-up should be required to create the sheet.
Personal CRM
One of the most popular applications for Airtable and Google Sheets is a personal CRM. Most people don’t need this, but a few high-end customers (venture capitalists, bankers, executives) do. Make a really nice iPhone app to help these people stay in touch with their network and importantly -- don’t require Gmail OAuth access in order to get started.

Excited by any of these? Pioneer is designed to help you take any project to the next level: play now.

(There may be products that already solve these problems. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to improve upon them!)