I recently heard the concept “Ninja Gig”, which is a performance decided on, and improvised with very short notice. I believe the term was coined by Amanda Palmer. It targets music performance, but it could as well be applicable to software development.
What I really like about it, is the freedom it brings along. Decide on whether or what to do in the moment, being present in the now.
How could this be applicable to software development? You need to be capable to deliver a solution with very short notice. It could be an app, a website, statistical results of data mining, or other concrete product.
Then the step is just to spot a need, or another way to help people, then with short notice build a first version of the solution, bring it into production and deliver it.
Possible leads for ideas and directions are hackerthons, start-up-weekends, and also just talking with people about their digital needs.
I have been working towards this approach for a while, before knowing that there existed this word for it. Currently I am improving on my toolbox to be more efficient in this direction: ClojureScript for HTML5-apps, and docker for deployment of various solutions.
At the moment I am working on a larger library project, and as soon as this end I will (most likely) try to focus on doing ninja gigs 🙂 Which I have the feeling will fit well in my lifestyle.