If you're in the technology business and don't know that relentless focus is the secret weapon that brought tremendous success to Steve Jobs and Apple, you haven't been paying attention. The cottage industry of Jobs mythologists and Apple Kremlinologists have written thousands of articles and dozens of books that tell us the same thing over and over again. Apple has demolished the competition because while the competition is constantly distracted by squirrels, the Conquistadors of Cupertino keep grinding away on a tight set of goals.
We all know this. Young startup founders, creaky old big business CEOs, and everyone in between claims to worship at the altar of Steve and embrace The Way of Focus.
Yet for all the breathless head-nodding about focus, the number of technology companies that really understand it and have the guts to apply it in their day to day business is shockingly, head-bangingly low. While I have learned quite a bit by reading about Steve Jobs and Apple, I fear I am not alone in reaching a point of diminishing return with all that evaluation and examination.
In order to turn learning into action, I have to look in the mirror. What am I doing that is unfocused? How is my thinking fuzzy? What antiquated concepts do I still hold dear? Am I holding on to the past instead of creating the future?
I suspect that in order to achieve a Jobsian level of focus, the lion's share of the effort is in removing habits and patterns that have been with us for so long that we don't even realize they are there.
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