What I’m Focusing On

During the last two months I’ve finally gotten some clarity on something that’s been on my mind for a while. With so many things going on in my life, it’s been hard to figure out what exactly I’m working towards and what I want. I think I’ve figured out a framework that makes sense for me given where I am right now and what I’m doing.

This excellent post helped inspire this line of thinking, but I’ve realized that my focus right now is on learning various techniques for success, in life and with startups. I’m trying to learn how people are successful, rather than gunning for success on my own.

To that end, I’ve been studying hard. In terms of startup success, I’ve been working intensely with Gabriel Weinberg writing traction book about how startups get traction. In the modern information-overload culture, it’s becoming harder and harder to start a company with strong adoption. There is tons of conflicting advice out there about ways to get users, and not many good resources on how to approach the problem of getting users. In a very real way, it’s harder now to get users than it is to build most software products. Acquiring large numbers of users is also more defensible – others can compete on features, but competing on users is far more difficult.

I’ve decided to study what works (and what doesn’t) in terms of getting startup traction. I’ve been learning so much about various ways startups acquire users, talking with successful founders from all over the country, and generally trying to understand startup marketing and distribution better than anyone I know. Understanding and studying the marketing frameworks used by some of the smartest people in the business will, in the end, be far more helpful than trying to hit a home run on my own – or so I think.

I’ve also been working on improving myself in many ways. I’m tracking everything I need and want to do with Asana (it’s awesome, by the way), developing a workout routine, scheduling time to learn programming (and design through Coursera), and working on building habits and personality traits that will help me in the future. I’m working on a routine to get my day started, experimenting with different ways to improve my productivity, and trying to improve my health and flexibility.

In doing all of this, I’m getting much closer to understanding how I build habits. Knowing what works for me will make future changes easier, and make me a happier and improved person right now. I’m still very busy and doubt where I’m headed in life, but it’s been nice to gain some clarity about what I’m working towards.