I don't know about you, but I find that some projects are best tackled as a large-scale focused sprint, and some through daily small-scale habitual action.I try to add 3 new examples to http://specializationexamples.com every weekday.I've got 1451 business in the review backlog for this research project, so doing it as a sprint would kill me. But doing 3 per day for the next year and a half works just fine, and allows me to build a super useful resource for my audience in a sustainable way.Let's spitball for a moment to think about how you could do 30 to 60 minutes/day of work that builds something valuable over the long term for your business. Some quick ideas off the top of my head to get you thinking:
- Let's say you're an iOS developer. Could you review the UX of the 10 best and 10 worst apps in a category that's relevant to your focus and then write a report on your findings? Sort of like https://www.useronboard.com/ does with SaaS apps? Bonus points if you can enrich your findings with other data like interviews with app creators or users and correlations with company performance.
- Let's say your an app developer of any kind. Could you trawl through reviews of mobile or SaaS apps in a category that's relevant to your focus and then write a report on app anti-patterns as evidenced by user reviews?
- Let's say your a developer of any kind. Could you take a report about the future of a specific industry (one that's relevant to your focus), combine that with your technical expertise, and create something of value that advises decision makers in that industry how to change their tech strategy? For example, take a look at what the National Association of Manufacturers publishes here: http://www.nam.org/Data-and-Reports/Reports/ How could you combine your background in software with what you learn from one or more of those reports to provide useful, specific advice for manufacturers wanting to build new custom software?
Those are all viable starting points for building something of value. Something that, depending on where and how far you take it, you could legitimately call insight or intellectual property. Those are two things that can free you from implementation work and help you get hired to do thinking/strategy work.Here are the latest additions to http://specializationexamples.com:
- A digital marketing agency focused on the manufacturing vertical
- A custom software development shop focused on the horizontal of legacy software remodeling
- A consultant focused on 3D/AR/VR applications and products
If you'd like to see real examples of how businesses like those set up a specialized web presence, check out http://specializationexamples.com.-PP.S. Know a self-employed software developer who might benefit from specialization? Send 'em this free gift! Details here --> /referrals/