David Hiatt’s preaches the “Do one thing well. It’s enough.” mantra.
It’s true. Having absolute focus on a singular project can be a life long endeavor. You can master something but dedicating yourself to it. You can create something meaningful and original and you can continue to refine it through the years. You can strive to be the best in the world creating something you care about. That’s in an ideal world.
But, we don’t live in an ideal world. In the real world, your competitors are gunning for you. If you have any semblance of success, someone will be trying to outdo you or outright steal your ideas. Take a look at Etsy and how big companies rip off artisans making unique things. So much so that they loose business.
The other side is that being focused on a single task, or product, closes you off to new ideas and further learning. Yes, you can begin to truly understand your market and all the adjacent needs around it, but you might not be exposed to new things because you’d be too focused on your category. Stepping outside of your comfort zone can help you in various ways. Lessons learned from other industries can apply to your other projects.
And while the “Do one thing well” mantra is absolutely true, it might be warranted to do a few “One Things”. Perhaps not overlapping and perhaps on different stages. It all depends on the level of comfort. Plenty of folks can set out to do several One Things and nail it. Musk. Jobs. It’s possible. It just takes hard work. But, the lessons are invaluable.
This series of content is a small experiment. I pledged to create a piece of content on my site for the next 365 days. You can read the opening post here. The posts aren’t limited to thoughts or ideas, they’re really just a way for me to create original content. If you got any feedback/questions, please reach out. Thanks for looking.
Dmitry N. Rusakov