Laser Focus

Last week, I set some very ambitious goals for myself. But achieving even just one of them requires that I have laser-like focus…how can I do all three?

I can’t, at least not right now.

Focusing on what matters

My main goal right now is to build Simmer. I’m working on a huge update with social features. It’ll be a bit like Instagram, so you’ll be able to share photos of your cooked meals from recipes in the app. There’s so much to do, and I want to get this update out by March 1st, which doesn’t give me very much time.

I need to have laser focus if I want any chance of getting it done in time.

So I’m dropping my goal of creating videos that I’m proud of. I just don’t have time for it right now (and probably not this year).

Creating videos that I’m proud of (a very high bar) would require an immense amount of time, even for just one video. And what would be the point? Few people would watch them, especially the early videos. A much better use of my time would be to learn how to create the best apps possible and focus on getting them out to as many people as possible.

If I spread myself too thin, everything I do turns into mediocrity.

I’m making awesome apps. But the only way I can actually do this is to sit down and laser focus on them. No getting distracted by making (or watching) videos. I need to code and learn as much as I can.

Striving for perfection requires that I continuously grind with laser focus on the goal until I achieve it.

Simmer Social Features

The social features I’m working on for Simmer are really exciting. There’s a ton of new stuff I’m learning and will learn along the way.

Just today I was working on adding usernames and friend finding. It’s important to be able to find your friends on the app, so I was investigating how to integrate a user’s contact book to help them find their friends.

The approach that I’ve come up with is to use the least amount of data possible when utilizing someone’s contact book. This means that I’m only looking at phone numbers, and I’m encrypting the phone numbers before using them in my database. I’m also not uploading all the phone numbers from someone’s contacts; instead, I’m cross-referencing them to find any of their contacts who might already be on the app. After cross-referencing, I can show the user which of their friends are on the app. Once the user joins, I can store their encrypted phone number in the databsae so if any of their contacts joins, they’ll see that their friend is on the app.

I’ve had a lot of fun learning about how to best implement these social features so far, but there’s still a long way to go. I might table the friend finding via contact sharing for now to focus on implementing the core features, namely a chronological feed of posts, so that I can get an initial working version out as soon as possible to begin testing it.

All of this, of course, will require that I have laser focus.