Focus... Focus... Focus...

After recording episode 70 of the iDeveloperLive podcast with Steve ‘Scotty’ Scott we had a chat about avTag. Scotty has been a huge help during the development of the application and has been my general sounding-board for bouncing ideas off, playing the part of a very vocal guilty conscience when I’ve not worked on it for a while and generally being a tower of moral support.

Amongst this evening’s discussion we touched on the fact that development has stalled over the last couple of months due to client work. We grumbled about bills needing to be paid and the discussion moved on.

However visiting Scotty is one of the rare occasions when I undertake a relatively long journey on my own so it provides a great opportunity for me to think. During this evening’s journey I thought about why development had stalled. Not in terms of pressure of paid work, but rather in terms of why wasn’t I even spending odd bits of time on it.

It comes down to the fact that I’d reached a complex area of functionality and I felt I needed to devote a good chunk of time to fixing it. I mulled over what I might be able to do and when I could make time to resolve it and then it occurred to me that I had another option. I’m writing avTag to my own specification and there was nothing stopping me from changing the specification to simply avoid the issue entirely. The problematic area of functionality could easily be added in a post-1.0 release.

Advice that Scotty has given me over and over again echoed through my mind. He keeps telling me to make sure that the 1.0 release contains the bare minimum of functionality. I need to see how people react to the application and the concept before investing too much time and effort into it and the only way I can do that is to release it. I need to focus on what is really necessary for 1.0. I need to focus on what the bare minimum of functionality is that I can release. I need to focus on getting a 1.0 released. Focus… focus… focus…