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I agree that any OSS developer should recognize their toy projects will likely not go anywhere and keep a few projects in mind to work on. Keeps things in perspective, keeps one interested, and so on like author said. Doing 10 projects in parallel makes less sense to me. One can accomplish the same thing sequentially while focusing on only a few projects. Just bounce back and forth.

If I went with a rule, I think Google's 80/15/5 rule is worth further exploration. Many of the best projects start with a clear need to solve a problem. Picking one of them and making it happen should be 80% as others will appreciate the problem being solved. Especially true if author understands that domain. A significant step out of the domain or re-application of an effective concept to new domain might be a 15%. A 5% project might be a wild idea with potential but high risk and/or way outside author's domain expertise. The main energy will go into 1-2 80% projects while the 15% and 5% projects are a mental break from that.

This model seems more productive while still letting a person screw around on side projects that might be fun, good learning experiences, or time-wasters with a limit on the waste.

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