For as long as I can remember, I’ve maintained a living document I call ‘State of Play’ where I continuously comb through personal and professional priorities. I’ve found it to be an invaluable tool for tracking strategy, current projects, hopeful prospects, and internal r&d projects. I track this priority list, then revisit and refine the document regularly.
Lately, I’ve made it a goal to find personal and professional focus . If I try to do too many things, it becomes challenging to do them all well, and risks spreading my energy, and the energy of everyone on the team, too thin. To help track this, I recently added a section to my State of Play doc I jokingly call my ‘Big Dumb List.’ The concept is based on a suggestion from my friend and colleague Keith Fuller.
The idea is to delineate my high level priorities in a concise, simple list. I envisioned there being just 2 or 3 areas of focus — ‘dumb’ in it’s eventual simplicity, but highly effective as a strategic tool. When any new opportunity, project, task or request comes up — I measure it against this list. If it doesn’t fit, I say no.
Or, at least that’s how it’s supposed to work. The list is a lot longer than I hoped it would be, but everything on the list is highly defensible. It’s already quite a bit shorter than when I first started tracking, and it has helped me say no to potential distractions. Here’s how it stands as of today:
Big Dumb List: Q1 2018
- ) Continue growing Arch Virtual VR/AR services along 3 core verticals
- Training — healthcare and safety (Envision EMI, Airway Lab, etc.)
- Architectural visualization (American Family Insurance / Spark, Alys Beach, etc.)
- Product showcase (GE Healthcare, Wessels, California Closets, etc.)
- Work with the team to continuously refine our workflow and supporting Immerse platform utilities to ‘productize’ our services into highly effective deliverables that provide consistent, measurable value to our clients.
- Work with the team to manage the business (accounting, operations, hr, marketing, marketing, demos, etc.). I drill deeper into this with a separate living document I revisit quarterly. I use the ‘goal tree’ system developed by Derrick Van Mell at VMA to track our business plan.
2. ) Continue advancing Immerse platform
- Define, refine and communicate the value of our Immerse platform (Immerse Collaborative multi-player, Immerse Configurator system, turn-based training module, asset library, etc.)
- Attract and retain our ‘first 100’ early adopter community of Immerse Creator users via Steam Early Access — starting with architecture and interiors as our first market focus.
- Work with the team to guide sprints and strategic platform roadmap.
3.) Raise Capital
- Continue seeking input on and presenting our pitch deck to generate investment interest.
It’s not yet the ‘big dumb list’ I had hoped it could be, but everything here has a strong argument for holding its position. While I definitely see us vectoring toward singular focus in the near future, I still see VR and AR as a wide open frontier — at least for now. I think there’s solid strategic value in keeping our options open this early in an emerging industry.
I tend to crowdsource decisions like strategic focus, pinging everyone I trust for advisement on things like this. What would you recommend I take away from this list, and why?
I’ll follow up on this post in a few months and see how it’s holding up.