← Achraf ASH

Exposure over focus

Achraf Ait Sidi Hammou

Focus is almost a meme at this point. Whenever I think of something to write, it’s related to focus one way or another.

But this week I saw another dimension of the problem.

A friend of mine told me about two founders who were super successful. They both raised millions, make 6 figures in revenue and have a sick product.

Yet, 2 years ago, I talked with both of them and would’ve never bet on them. They had zero knowledge about startups, their product idea was weak and their whole approach felt weak to say the least. So I quickly dismissed them. I thought they would go at it for a few months and then move on with their life —getting back on the “traditional path”.

I had it all wrong.

I don’t feel bitter at all. I’m happy they succeeded. It inspires me to follow their path.

But I had to ask myself, what’s wrong with me? Clearly they’ve figured something out that I haven’t yet. I’ve been doing this thing for the past 3 years and I feel like I’m still at the starting line. What the heck?

And then I looked at my current project ScrambledTech. I’ve been working on it for about a month now, and I only start to understand what I’m really trying to solve and for whom. I’m only starting to ask the right questions. But usually, that’s when I move on to another project.

That’s the difference between me and them: time exposed to the problem.

Of course! I was unconsciously expecting to find a project that would immediately look and feel good. But now I finally understand that it takes a lot of time before the initial idea grows into a legit startup.

Figma started as a meme generator.

Square started as a journaling app.

Time exposed to a problem is the real key to success, not necessarily focus. That’s how Elon Musk manages to be so successful while managing several huge companies. He’s just been working hard on them for 20 years.