Not Growth Hacking

As a creator, I desire for other humans to enjoy and appreciate my work. But I’m wary of any schemes to “hack” growth.

Not Growth Hacking

I started Focus Tools because I’ve been thinking about, and tinkering with, productivity systems, since entering the workforce as a young adult, and, for a while now, I’ve felt a creative drive to share those thoughts more publicly.

As a creator, I desire for other humans to enjoy and appreciate my work, and so, I do want to build an audience and encourage people to read what I’m writing. But I’m wary of the schemes I see online to “hack” growth.

I didn’t start this site to sell people an online course, promote a book or push a service. I want to share ideas that others may derive value from.

Focus Tools is not likely to reach one million readers, or 100,000 and probably not even 10,000 readers. Possibly not 1,000.

So why bother?


More than numbers, I’m interested in scaling Focus Tools into an active community of like-minded people who are interested in productivity tools, but who are also searching, like me, for more focus, and more balance.

Together, we can share tips on the best new apps, but also discuss how to integrate simplicity into our lives. Software can make us more productive, but sitting in a park, sipping coffee or watching our children play can make us more balanced.

No Games

The articles on Focus Tools will steer away from clickbait headlines. You won’t find titles like “The 5 Secrets to Productivity Mastery” or “The One Focus Hack You Must Try Now.”

I’m not going to play the game where I follow 10,000 people on Twitter and hope 5% of them follow me back.

If I start a YouTube channel, which, at this point, is not on the agenda, I won’t litter it with thumbnail images of me looking exasperated, contemplative, shrugging my shoulders are staring quizzically into the camera.

That game is not for me.

What does organic growth look like?

Whether it’s the number of Twitter followers I have, or how many subscribe to the Focus Tools newsletter, I’m aiming of quality over quantity.

I will strive to write engaging high-quality content, and, over time, I hope to slowly, deliberately and organically grow this community with like-minded people.

I will also engage on Twitter, in Twitter Communities, in Discords and in Slack channels. Furthermore, I will refrain from being too self-promotional, but I may pitch an article to these outlets if it feels relevant to the conversation.

Periodically, I’ll write about growing Focus Tools under the banner of Behind-the-Scenes. If you’re interested in following along, you can read these stories here.


Sometimes the best tool is no tool, as I recently discovered with task managers. Sometimes the best system, is no system. Sometimes, the best app is, you know where this is going, no app.

While I remain enamored with the shiny new productivity thing, I plan to write about what life could be with a little less of the new thing. It’s not about going to extremes, but, rather, how we can dial down the quest for productivity perfection. Less.

You can find my articles on less here.

Wrapping Up

Writing this, I’m reminded that Marques Brownlee barely cracked 78 subscribers after he had posted his first 100 videos.

There’s no quick road to success and no shortcuts. I’m not sure what the future holds for me or for Future Tools. But I’m playing the long game.

I hope you’ll join me.