John MacAdam

Obsession Has its Perks

Nov 11, 2018

Part of living with less has meant narrowing my attention further and further. To the point of obsession. Since 2013 I have had an obsession. Most people that know me would agree. I have been obsessed with apps. Obsession gets a bad rap. It turns out my obsession came with a few advantages.

The Reach of my Obsession

My obsession with apps permeated almost every area of my life.

My Day Job. I found ways to build mobile apps that added value to the organization I worked for. My boss took a risk allowing me, a traffic engineer, to spend some of my time developing apps. My obsession as the "app guy" gave him the confidence he needed.

My Business. I converted most of my business from making websites to making mobile apps. I obsessed with every iOS and Android announcement. I launched a new website making my intentions clear:

My Free Time. I joined local meetups with other mobile app developers. I downloaded and tested thousands of apps. I subscribed to all the app review blogs.

My Social Media. I shared daily recommendations for apps I vetted out. I shared tips and tricks from my favorite apps. I changed my social media accounts to @appsbyjohn.

The Benefits of Obsession

This intense focus, let's call it obsession, had many benefits. And again, these benefits were realized in different areas of my life.

My Day Job. I was given more responsibility at my day job. I was assigned as project manager to a major app project for the organization. I exceeded in this new role. The mobile app launched successfully, won awards, and even helped me get a promotion.

My Business. My business thrived once I decided to focus on mobile apps. I gained a reputation as the app guy. This obsession eventually led me to my best client.

My Skills. I was able to grow my skills quicker by immersing myself in many app projects. Each project taught me a new skill that was applied to future projects.

During a couple months in the summer of 2015 I saw these benefits come into play in a big way. My primary project at my day job was to act as project manager for the development of a mobile app. We hired a consultant team to develop the app. It was easy for me to connect with the development team. Cutting through issues with the project was simple. I felt confident making decisions regarding the app.

During the same time I was hired to develop an app for a client, through my business. I spent my days as a project manager overseeing a group of developers. I spent my nights as a developer taking direction from a project manager. The overlap was remarkable. I was able to empathize with my partners on both projects.

I was able to go much deeper into apps by saying no to other personal interests and hobbies. I'm convinced these benefits would not have been realized otherwise. Obsession has its perks.