Sketching with Code

Go Wide, Go Narrow, Go Wide Again

Before Aframe I was in a “wide” mode - I was open to lots of opportunities, playing with lots of ideas, experimenting with ideas with a wide range of people, saying “yes” to lots of things.

“The main thing, is to make the main the thing, the main thing”, whilst being one of those over-quoted ideas by Steven Covey is an important thing that I had to get to grips with once I’d found a hack that seemed to work.

The focus of working on one thing, with other people equally passionate about that thing, is a recipe for making what you’re working on a success.

For a hacker, the ultimate setup is to find an environment where there is a way to move between this narrow, focussed state of obsessively focussing on a single thing and onto the wide collaborative, exploratory mode that logically comes before and afterwards.

Sadly, that obsessive focus was there at Aframe, but there wasn’t an opportunity for me to follow through with the “get wide” phase without leaving. I distinctly remember a meeting where the CTO gave a presentation about his vision for the coming year.

The gist of the strategy was “Make what we’ve got more reliable”, and there was one key phrase - “No innovation for the next year”. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!

So I went wide again, decompressed from the 100-hour workweeks, set up a little freelance company and spent a year “hacking, playing and learning”, with the intention of finding something interesting to focus on through being open to opportunity.