The Problem with Focus

Cat Falling

In the past year WooThemes has grown significantly. We've scaled up to the point where team members can focus on one aspect of the business and not have to pay attention to everything else going on. This brings some pretty huge advantages with a dedicated person pushing through projects that someone who's spread out on multiple projects could never do. But with it comes hyper-focus where someone will focus on their aspect of the business without knowing (or caring) how it affects other aspects of the business.

Understanding Branding

Claude Monet Graystaks 1

“Claude Monet – Graystaks I” by Claude Monet – Unknown. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

A brand is the sum-total off all of the interactions with world. It's like an impressionist painting that's made out of millions of brushstrokes. It's a combination of your website, your customer service, your appearance at a conference, mentions on social media, your blog posts, your products, etc etc. It's everything. And every action your company takes (or doesn't take) leaves a mark on the brand.

Seeing the Bigger Picture

When companies are small everyone understands the vision and the brand. Everyone reads the comments on the blog, everyone does customer support, and everyone has a stake in every aspect of the business. As businesses grow it's necessary to specialize so there's less overlap and people don't step on each other's toes and this is when you can run into some problems.

When marketing only looks at signups, social media mentions, or revenue they're not looking at the big picture.

When customer support only looks at the tickets solved, knowledge base articles created, or the time until first response they're not looking at the big picture.

When engineering only looks at the number features they completed, bugs solved, or the number of releases per year they're not looking at the big picture.

Balancing Data & Reason

Take a look at this video. In it the speaker uses some numbers he gathered to prove his point rather than asking himself a simple question, do people want this?

I'm excited to be a part of a team where for the most part we do do this. One of the hallmarks of a good relationship whether it be personal or professional is open communication. There's been a few miscommunications here and there but overall we do a pretty darn good job. The head of WooCommerce support attends the weekly dev meeting and I've personally reached out to theme providers about changes in WooCommerce so they update everything ahead of time which should keep our users happy and the support requests down.

I think my final takeaway is this: No matter what job you do – make enough time in your schedule to look up and see how the company is doing.

Photo credit: Giphy

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