Do you ever have conversations like this inside your company?

- Person A: Hey!
- Person B: Hi!
- Person A: I was thinking; wouldn’t it be awesome if we let our users [enter amazing feature description here]?
- Person B: Yeah, sounds quite amazing actually!
- Person A: Alright, let’s do it then!

If yes, then this post is for you, because this situation ↑ is totally fucked.

Working on your own business can be extremely exciting – especially when you are a small software team. For this reason it’s quite tempting for such teams to stick on building things that sound exciting. We used to do that a lot at SourceLair, as we are building a tool that we use ourselves daily and love really much.

But what’s wrong with building exciting things ⁉️ ?

The answer lies in Business 101: Spend less than you earn. This is the only way to create a long lasting, profitable business and avoid the countdown tick-tock of your funding’s runway.

This is why we should focus on building things that matter for our business and not on building features like integrating with the LatestShinnyFundedAppHere API that nobody cares about actually. I know that this sounds really obvious, but you would be surprised if you found out how many companies waste their brainpower (and manpower) into building nonsensical features that just sound tight and cool.

This doesn’t mean though that important things cannot be exciting, fun and satisfying. Actually working on important things for your business should be satisfying and fun, or else you are on the wrong job. So it’s not a matter of whether you like what you are doing or not, but how do you decide where to spend your time on.

OK, so how do we know when something is important?

First of all, there are some really easy ways to pick important things for spending your time on like feature requests from customers and bug reports. Now beyond that, it really needs you to sit down and think “Is this important?”, before bringing something into discussion with your teammates and constantly trying to extract the value from each proposal brought into discussion.

Personally, I always try to answer all following questions before requesting any of my team mates spending their time on something that I thought about:

  • How can this impact our company?
  • How can it help our company gain profits?
  • Does anyone have to take a look at this actually?
  • Is there anything else that spending our time on could benefit us more?

This is how I am trying to work with my partners and build important things for SourceLair and so let developers worldwide focus on what’s important as well 😊.