Frequently started within the IT community, side-projects refer to a small project by an individual or a team often irrelevant with the constituents’ jobs but related to their interests. It is becoming a means to express one’s thoughts and skills.
However, launching a side project by oneself is not an easy task as it solely stems on personal motivation, and teammates must share the motivation tostrive to complete the project. B-Side, a platform created by Jinjihan company aims to help by aiding the process of a side project so that more people can attempt to realize their ideas. Ewha Voice interviewed Jinjijan company’s two representatives, Kim Ji-yun and Park Jin-i, project planners with 20 years’ experience from Naver, in order to look into the lives of the entrepreneurs.
One peculiar aspect of B-Side is that unlike other platforms that focus on nurturing the developers, it concentrates on assisting the working process and raising project planners.
Currently, B-Side is constituted of B-Side Project program and Plan X. B-Side Project is their main service, guiding side projects, while Plan X is project planner education program. As the key goal of Kim and Park is to provide hands-on experience as a team, they try not to interfere with the teams’ spontaneity with ideas and instead do their best to provide guides with templates for more efficient communication and project scheduling as a “kit.”
“Initially, we targeted professionals and our main feature was only building teams for them,” Kim said. “Like inside Naver, we thought that was all we needed to do for a project to start. However, among the first eight teams, only one team managed to launch a service. We decided we need to teach people about program management and what steps are needed towards launching a service for a better side project experience.”
When asked if there was a particular project idea that caught their eye, Kim replied there was not. She said it has become clearer throughout managingB-Side that most ideas are similar in creativity, but rather the importance lies on whether or not that idea is able to be realized.
B-Side Project finished its sixth program this year. With COVID-19 striking almost as soon as the service launched, B-Side had to turn online from the second program. Fortunately, this was not problematic.
“Even before the pandemic, in big IT companies, virtual meet-ups are not an uncommon,” Kim explained. “In many cases, constituents of a team are at different companies. For instance, developer teams we worked with were often in China or Japan.”
Although some participants say it is a shame that team members never had the chance to work together physically, Kim wants them to understand that the online environment is not a barrier. She added with a laugh, “It’s better to not stay too intimate. You can’t get any work done if you are too close to your teammates!”
When asked what led to devising the B-Side Project program, Kim responded they got the idea from their work at Naver.
Work was structured in a series of projects. However, many of the times, ideas were deprecated because they could not find a developer willing to proceed with the project.
B-Side was launched with the expectation to help people find appropriate teammates for their side projects. Kim said they hope B-Side can allow people to find themselves as better capable beings and for society to acknowledge them as they are.
Nonetheless, B-Side is an emerging service that was recently able to receive a 350 million investment from Blue Point Capital Partners.
When asked how the representatives are balancing work and life, Kim responded they were barely surviving each minute.
“Operating a start-up, you can’t ever expect things to turn out as planned,” Park said. “Instead of relying on neat long-term plans, we are living day by day resolving tasks at hand.”
Now a team of six people, Kim said what drives the members forward and what holds them together is habitual diligence.
“Nonetheless, I feel the responsibility to keep going as we are the examples of female, middle-aged, no-coding entrepreneurs,” Park said.