in #168challenge on April 19, 2015

For practice to work, it has to be challenging. – Steven Milne

I recently came up with a new idea for another side project this week. I think that’s now six ongoing side projects and counting. To be honest, it’s getting a bit ridiculous that I don’t seem to be able make time to finish all these projects off. I’m becoming a bit embarrassed.


I recently found myself on Levelsio’s twitter account and was amazed to find out he launched twelve start-ups in twelve months. He launched double the amount of side projects I have and all within a year. This bugged me immensely. When I looked further into these startups, they ranged from complex job boards to simple motivation apps. They ranged from the large to the small and agile. I soon realised, launching a project doesn’t mean it has to have all the bells and whistles, and this got me thinking about my own projects.

Time & Fear

I recently launched Match People Skills at work with a timescale of 1 1/2 months from start to finish. The hardest part wasn’t actually working on any of the development parts, but having the courage to launch it on its deadline day. My time management could have been a lot better too but mainly, I had a huge fear of showcasing my work to the public, which up to this point had only been seen by a few selective people.

When it comes to my side projects, I find myself getting bored and losing motivation without having a target deadline, a point where the thing will go live no matter what state it is in. A drive to ensure the project is at its best as much as possible because it’s going live no matter what.

This problem helped me form the basis for this challenge.

The Challenge

The 168 Hours Challenge is simple: build, from scratch, an agile bootstrap project. Either before or on the 168th hour, you must stop working on the project and put live or present it publicly to the world. All your work (and I mean ALL your work) must be showcased to the public for feedback. The 168 hours time limit can be split across many days, so you don’t have to do all the 168 hours in one go. Therefore, your project could take you 6 months to create but you must have spent 168 hours or less creating the outcome of the project. That’s it.

The challenge is suppose to be challenging, so while there are no rules about how difficult the project is to be, I highly suggest you include elements that do challenge you. This is about self-improvement, training yourself and trying out new things. Keep that in mind.


I am aware that a similar type of challenge has been done in Hong Kong. I really love what BSA did and I feel my challenge is slightly different than the BSA challenge. However, I’m not claiming this challenge is unique, I’m just sharing a challenge I’m currently undertaking myself. Also, Laura Vanderkam has a book about a 168 hours challenge, but again, it’s very different than this challenge.

Open to All

This challenge is open to everyone, and I highly encourage anyone who thinks this sounds interesting to take part in it.

The challenge can be applied to any project, it doesn’t need to be web or computer related. If you are a crafter – for example – you can document your work through photographs and publicise them with a small write up on what each photo is showcasing. You can present your final work with a video or photo and talk about your experience throughout the project’s creation. There’s no set rules to how you practically apply the rules of the challenge to your project, just as long as you apply the few rules I outlined above.

My Challenge

I will be undertaking this challenge for a side project web app that I want to put together. For me, completing the challenge is more important than the success of the web app itself but it’s still a project I would like to put together none the less. My plan is to document the whole process with as regular blog posts and video updates as I can.

You can follow the whole process right here on my blog and by using the #168challenge tag over twitter, facebook, google+, youtube, vimeo and many more social media platforms.

Take Part

If you want to take part and have any questions about the challenge, please feel free to get in contact with me. You can find multiple ways to contact me using the ‘social’ dropdown menu at the top right of the blog.

If you have already started this challenge, let me know about it. I would love to hear how you are getting on.

Episode 1

Episode 1 is now available. Click Here to view episode 1.


Callum works as a Web and Social Media

Callum Hopkins

Callum works as a Web and Social Media "Genius" at Altablue, a Wood Group company. He is based in the North East of Scotland. He has knowledge in Web Design & Development and is a published author. Callum is an avid Football Fan.