Pick Your Head Up Regularly, Heads Down is Good, But Being Aware Cannot Be Ignored
One important thing I've learned while running API Evangelist, is the importance of picking your head up from your work on a regular basis, and tuning into the world around me. When you are running your API initiative it can be also be easy to go heads down coding, addressing technical issues, managing support channels and dealing with the general day-to-day, internal activity of running a company.
Don't get me wrong, I'm big on going radio silent, closing the Gmail tab, shutting down TweetDeck, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Skype and my other communication channels. Since I stopped using Google Reader to monitor feeds, and setup my own internal curation, I can easily tune out my API industry monitoring and curation for days sometimes. This is all intended to get shit done and reduce distractions.
Even with my regular tuning out of the world and focusing on work, I make sure and pick my head up, turn on communication channels, read and curate blog posts and generally take a good look at the world around me. I've worked too hard, building up momentum with my content creation, search engine optimization and social media presence to let it all slide. I can coast for days, or even weeks, but if I drop the ball for too long, I will not only stop any forward motion and growth--I risk losing traction and quickly becoming irrelevant.
My number one mission with the API Evangelist Network is to educate myself, then secondarily educate the masses about the API space. If I don't pick my head up regularly, tune into the API space and understand the latest trends, technologies and players--I'm doing myself a disservice, as well as the greater interest of the API industry, and whoever I work for.
When running your company, make sure you find time to go heads down, focusing on your work, but make sure you pick your head up regularly and tune into your community, your audience and the wider industry you exist within. Without this engagement you will never achieve your goals.