Thursday, February 16, 2012


Focus. One word but it only goes deeper and deeper. If you say focus the first thing which comes to mind is a camera in hand and looking at some object to shoot. Now, either you can capture the entire panorama or you can capture the claw of the discreet bird, hiding behind the bush, taking a nap. While the first situation implies that it lacks focus, the other situation implies lack of it. Not exactly. What if the guy wants to capture the colours of the spring or the fall, or the other person is just aimlessly flirting with the lens?

The other very popular mythological story goes that teacher Drona asked every one to aim at the bird. Then he asked his disciples where did they exactly aim? Everyone except Arjuna the archer were not aiming at the bird's eye. Is that the focus?

Or if you are managing an outfit, startup, team, platform the word focus is largely about delivering a set of task on time. Or one has to focus towards getting the next job to be able to afford a car, house, vacations etc. Or people just focus for focus sake.

So, what can one really infer from this word focus? For me focus is the culmination of a process of understanding one's immediate surrounding, trying to figure out if it makes any sense and then being able to prioritise and act. Yes, just act. However the process is not in order as one of the things mentioned can happen simultaneously or in absence of others. But the most important things is to be able to weed out nonessentials and channelise the energies to do one important thing at that point of time. But there is a catch, though it is advisable to act with all the conviction and surety, one should be ready to change course if the need be and re focus.

For example we are working on a CMS for one of our clients. We were discussing the features for the CMS, which started as a small list of things required and then started to add one feature or the other to the list to make it better, bigger and smarter. After a while we realised that we were building a bigger and better CMS, and not a tool to manage the content as per the project's requirement. And finally we decided to stick to the features which would serve the very basic function of creating content, storing content and publishing it. That's one of the reasons I like Posterous.

Similarly when we think of a Content Strategy for a brand or clients, we pursue the same approach. We avoid the generic themes of lifestyle, travel, health, news etc. Instead we focus on one message which should permeate through all the sections and the content pieces. I really admire , www.designtaxi, and for the clarity in their message.

So, one word and if properly understood will save a lot of time and puts nearly most of the things on track.

Focus! Focus! Focus!

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