I met Jason Fried last night

I met Jason Fried last night

I met Jason Fried last night. Except it was Skype call. Before I was boarding an ANA Flight to Japan. Where my seat was in a garage sale style over-stuffed sofa. Without a Seat belt. Did I mention this was a dream?

He asked me, “Are you focusing on what’s most important to you? Or are you focusing on what’s most important to your customer?” And I didn’t have an answer.

As makers, it’s natural for us to create. Given a choice we’d rather be building and making things than not. Our making is often constrained by one factor or another: time, money, tools, or passing interests.

However, these constraints aren’t bad. They lead to creativity. We figure out how to accomplish our goals within our constraints.

However, these constraints aren’t bad. They lead to creativity. We figure out how to accomplish our goals within our constraints.

But we often yearn for a world without these constraints.

“If this is what I can do without any time, tools, and money — imagine what I could accomplish if I focused on all of my creativity and had zero constraints?”, we think to ourselves.

“If I could just use my creativity to create a product that people would like enough that I could survive on it, I will be able to focus all of my energy on making and remove constraints from my creativity and my making will be endless and fun!”

What many makers fail to realize is that selling your product, while it may remove time and money constraints, adds another constraint. Yes, we are able to make whatever we want with the time that we have. However, we must now weigh what we’re building with what our customer wants.

Are you working on adding a new feature to your SaaS that you find intellectually challenging to build? Or are you fixing that workflow that trips your customers up?

Are you working on what’s most important to you? Or are you working on what’s most important to your customer?

If you’re trying to survive off your creations and creativity — the latter will always reap more rewards. And as makers we should strive so the most important work we want to focus on is the work that our customer finds most important.

And then I woke up and wrote down this message from fairy customer-service angel before it got lost to the ether.