Time, Priorities & Low-hanging Fruit


I had a meeting with friends - Iaan & Christine - this afternoon about where they're going with some of their projects in 2011 and found myself repeating some advice to them that I've been implementing myself recently.

Here's the problem we all have: we have more ideas (varying from being pretty shit to above average to maybe the one or two that are really great) than we have time. This means that we constantly get excited about cool stuff we'd like to do, but due to a bunch on constraints (time & budget normally being the biggest culprits) we never get around to pursuing those ideas and executing on most of them.

As an example of how long things sometimes take; it took us about 10 months (from having the initial idea) to get Express.app out there. Almost 1000 sales down-the-line though, it doesn't seem to have affected the project at all. So I guess the delay & ultimate timeline was okay.

I won't bore you with all the details of how many other projects have taken months to complete, because I hope you get the point by now: it's incredibly hard (most of the time) to get all your ideas out the door.

The amazing thing is that we still managed to grow WooThemes by almost 50% year-on-year, without executing on all our ideas. So how did we do it?

Priorities & Low-hanging Fruit

So with time & budget constraints being hugely influential here, I've instead focused on prioritizing the resources that are available to me / us and then trying to executing on some of those ideas. This on it's own should however not be new to you, but combined with a strategy of going after the lowest hanging fruit, you've got a winner.

What this means, is that you need to aim to execute on the ideas that will take up the least amount of resources with relatively the biggest, potential pay-off (in terms of your global strategy).

For me, at the moment this means that I'm doing much more blogging on the WooThemes blog than I do here.

Blogging on WooThemes = marketing = increased traffic = increased sales (for example).

This is especially true with the new WooLessons series that I've launched there, where I blog about the (business) lessons that we've learned from our experience in running WooThemes. That content is just as applicable here, yet the lower hanging fruit is to blog that on WooThemes.

You need to consider this strategy, especially if you find that you have more ideas than time. Heck, a good idea is a time a dozen; it is however the execution that separates the good from the great ideas.

Pick the easier stuff, get them out the door, attempt to get paid for that (in some way) and move onto the next idea. Once you've build up a nice base where you are earning passive income from these things, you'll find yourself having more time to devote to the fruit that does not hang that low.