I'm certainly not the first to say it, and I'm sure I won't be the last. The software/Internet world requires focus as much as any other industry, if not more.
The number of platforms, technologies, and frameworks has been growing at an amazing pace. Nearly every month Amazon announces a new web service that adds to their cloud computing arsenal. Google has also recently announced Google App Engine, an entire framework to build scalable web applications.
Every time one of these new technologies comes out, I'm tempted to write something to utilize it. I would get the benefit of learning something new and exciting (which is often worth some of my time), but I have to remember to remain focused. Focus doesn't mean ignoring what is out there, you obviously have to be open to new ideas and knowledge. Focus means spending the majority of your time on a single goal, to make something amazing.
If you want to write a successful piece of software simply fill a need. There are plenty of gaps in the software that is available, and what is currently needed. To reiterate:
- Identify a need
- Fill that need well
- Fame and fortune
What prompted this post? Right now, I own 18 domains. There are about 5 of them that I'm currently juggling, and it's not not working. I used to manage about 10 of them, and I had to make cuts. It's time to start cutting and consolidating again. I can only realistically maintain 2-3 sites. I'm sure a lot of my readers are in the same situation.
How do you figure out where to focus?
- If you don't have Google Analytics set up on your sites, I highly recommend you set it up. It's free and easy. I now have it set up on all of my sites, and it's helped me see which sites are not very popular.
- Ask yourself what your talents are, and think about where they are best applied. I've thought about starting a lawn mowing business because it looked like easy money. The problem is that it doesn't use any of my talents. Your talents are what will allow you to create something truly amazing.
- Choose projects which passionate users. Passionate users are usually going to be your best customers, and they're very hard to find.
Once you see which projects you should be working on, do yourself and everyone else a favor. Focus your time and energy on those! Nearly every successful person I've spoken to says that to be successful, you need hard work and persistence. None of them have said to spread yourself thin.
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