I was initially thinking of titling this post ‘Making a dent’, in memory of Jobs' memorable quote about putting a dent in the universe. However, I believe that enough people are already sold on the idea of making a dent, while there are not enough people sold on the how or the execution of making said dent.

So here we are: how do you make that you-shaped dent you were born for? I believe the answer is simple: start small, do what you can, take small steps, and build on those steps.

What does this look like?


Here’s my goal, inspired by a talk recently given by John Gruber about the rise of tablets: Using tablets, take computers into fields where computers never made it before, because people in those fields don’t sit at a desk all day.


Here’s my big-steps plan, or strategy if you will:

  • Get free from the dayjob in a few years
  • Use that freedom to make said dent

My thinking is that you can’t change the world if you’re stuck from 8am-6pm doing another man’s bidding. You may be lucky however – your dayjob may be all the platform you need to change the world (i’m looking at you, nath and matt).

Small steps

And i also have a small-steps plan, or tactical plan if you will:

  • Make iPhone apps in the evenings / train trip / weekends whilst employed in a day job
  • Hopefully not neglect the family too much in doing this!
  • When, in a few years, this is bringing in enough income to overtake my day job, i will resign and be able to work full-time on my ideas
  • I will then use the strategies in this post about cold calling to make some contacts with local small doctor’s practices
  • Build a iPad (+web/mac) app to manage medical records and the ancillary affairs of a doctors practice, with one of my contacts. Make it so good that they just love it.
  • Sell it to lots of doctor’s practices, and work towards selling to the big companies that own many practices
  • Leveraging my reputation gained by this point, get a small regional private hospital to work with me to build the features they’d need
  • Sell to other private hospitals
  • Sell to public hospitals / government, and…
  • BAM! Australia’s medical industry has been disrupted. Imagine how effective our health system would be if it was liberated from its crushing paperwork load.

How this works

See how every one of my steps above in my specific plan involves achievable, small steps towards bigger things?

It’s all about small steps: doing what you can with what you’ve got, and doing stuff that builds you a platform for doing something bigger.

Even if you don’t have a big goal that you want to work towards, practice the skill of doing small things with what’s available to you now (your time/skills/resources). Get good at execution, and direction will inevitably come. And once you’ve got that direction, start taking baby steps in that direction.

Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.

Chris Hulbert

(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)

iOS Developer (Freelancer / Contractor) in Australia.

I have worked at places such as Google, Cochlear, Assembly Payments, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Coles, Woolworths, Trust Bank, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for help developing an iOS app, drop me a line!

Get in touch:
[email protected]

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