Chris Mizen on March 30 — 1:11 pm #

Nice post Daniel. I’m a member and big fan of 52network! So, in your definition, that makes it a success! Keep up the good work and don’t worry about what others say in terms of your workload, the fact that you have a number of successful projects show that you dedicate enough time to each of them.

Matt Judge on March 30 — 1:17 pm #

Apple tend to take the opposite approach — placing all resources and energy into singular projects until fully realised, then move onto the next big thing.

I can appreciate the value of ‘cross-pollination’ (apologies, one of those buzz words I’ve struggled to shake since my stint in the US) — one project organically informing another — but always admired Infinite Loop’s single mindedness. Do one thing but do it brilliantly.

Daniel Howells on March 30 — 1:23 pm #

@Matt I absolutely agree.

What I would say though is that in the early days they flailed around like crazy - trying to execute all different sorts of mutually exclusive products, some of which were successful, some of which failed massively.

Then they hit on the Macintosh.

And I suppose my point is I’m trying to find my Macintosh - ha ha!!

Daniel Howells on March 30 — 1:23 pm #

@Chris hey thanks mate!

Kyle LaMar on March 30 — 1:50 pm #

I find the same for myself. One project almost always informs another. And usually, whichever project I am most focused on, and finish first, will help me generate new ideas for the project on the back burner… the one I couldn’t get excited about right away. Suddenly I see it in a whole new light.

If I do only one thing, I find it often stagnates. It seems like it should be the opposite, but for me I have found that my true creative focus comes in bursts and fits, all dependent upon my current interest and inspiration. If I waddle about in an uncreative mindset, over-thinking a project, it quickly becomes something I am less excited about, losing focus and drive.

We all have so many great ideas, I don’t see why we need “just one.” To say different is selling yourself short, and allowing a lot of interesting and exciting things fade into non-existence. It’s allowing yourself to give each idea and venture the time they deserve. In the end, if something doesn’t work out or become fully realized, it’s always there, wherever you left it, to help whatever you are exploring now. I don’t think any idea truly dies.

Valli on March 30 — 1:54 pm #

Re: Apple comment, I think they do try several things internally that we don’t get to see. What comes to surface is what we see. (My brother works for them in the industrial design department)

I think Google is another great example of trying several things. I agree with Dan completely. For one to succeed, several needs to be tried and passed over.

After all light bulb wasn’t the first attempt of Edison. It came after a series of 41 failed attempts.

Matt Judge on March 30 — 2:26 pm #

@ Valli I’m sure your brother would know better (what’s his name? I may have been introduced at some point…) I can only speak from my own experience at Apple. While there was lots going on behind the scenes, the core talent pool was focussed on one idea at a time.

I think it’s in an entrepreneurs nature to be constantly re-imagining, often many things simultaneously. It was just interesting to see Apple being so singular in that respect, especially when the external perception is so different.

Not sure there’s a right answer here, just two different schools of thought…

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