Yesterday we had our first “Make it Real” session. It was great. The question from our fellow Heretic made me think: “How do you pick the ‘right’ thing to focus on when opportunity appears to be everywhere?”
More specifically the question was focussed on the notion that when you have a bunch of projects going — how do you choose which one to work on?
It’s a brilliant question. It’s a problem a lot of our tribe wrestles with — we are a creative bunch, we have ample energy and we want to make things. So we do. And then we end up with a portfolio of projects and start to feel guilty about not giving each project the love it deserves (or not).
Here’s my approach: Time-box your efforts. Pick one project at a time, choose a specific amount of time you want to give it (for example two weeks) and then focus all your energy and effort on this one project. If at the end of the two weeks you don’t feel strongly attached to the project, if the two weeks proved to be a struggle and/or if the market tells you that it doesn’t care: Move on and pick the next project.
The amount of excitement and energy a project gives you, combined with feedback from the market (which can turn into a virtuous cycle), is a great indicator where to focus.
Or to say it in a different way: Don’t do something which doesn’t excite you.