This year for my Groundhog Day Resolutions, I’m taking an idea from Chris Brogan. Each year, Chris uses three words to guide and direct his focus for the year. For me, I chose these three words:
I’m full of good ideas. Have I ever told you I invented XML back in 1994? Too bad I never did anything with the idea; I could be rich like Al Gore after he invented that Internet thing.
I have these great ideas, but often don’t deploy them into the development stage. Those I do develop often languish in the last 10% of completion. I don’t deploy them into the wild. I think they stay there because I don’t like to ship imperfection, and it’s always imperfect.
It’s better that I deploy something not quite right than to never deploy at all.
The story of Flickr is pretty interesting and relates to this, I think. The founders of Flickr, it’s said, were working on an online game. One of the features they created was a way for players to share photos with their friends. The photo sharing piece got such rave reviews by the players that Flickr became what it is today. The game? Discarded.
Had the team built their game and not deployed until it was perfect they would have their big opportunity.
So for me: I need to focus on deploying. It doesn’t matter whether it is a code project, website redesign or blog post; I need to ship earlier than I do now. Or, I need to ship. Period.
The church we attend here in Indiana does a Weekend of Service each fall. The doors of the church are closed and services are cancelled. The congregation goes out into the community and serves. The impact is amazing, both to the community and those who have served. I want to focus more on serving others; both outside and within my family. It is important to spiritual balance and well-being. It’s an example I want my boys to see and participate in.
In the next few months, we will be leaving Indianapolis and moving to Chicagoland. It’s a big step for our family just as it was a big step moving to Indy two years ago. There are many new things for us: New schools and friends for the boys, a new territory for my wife, and a new marketplace for me. It is primarily about meeting new technology partners, networking, and getting to know the community in which I’ll be working. In Indianapolis, it took nearly two years for my connections to start paying dividends in the form of referrals. I would like to reduce this time in Chicago. Surely, they can use a good freelancer there!
We also need to connect into a church, community, and neighborhood. We are moving to Chicago for the long term and I want to make sure we’re embedded and get to know those around us. I’ll be looking for ways to connect with others in my neighborhood, community, church and marketplace.
The specific goals
I read an interesting blog post at the Church of the Customer. Ben McConnell writes about creating a 1-page strategic plan (edit: original site is gone, relinked to Wayback Machine) in the form of an info graphic. He believes this allows you to visually see the Objectives, Goals, Strategies and Tactics that will move you forward. In the next few days I will create my strategic plan for “Deploy / Serve / Connect”. These will then translate into Groundhog Day Resolutions I can monitor.
You can follow a special Twitter account I’ve created to document my successes: @2010_3words