With minerals, you could stockpile them. Having "wasted" production was not entirely a waste because it meant that you were stockpiling more minerals. Thus, if you were about to research a new ship tech, you did not feel like you HAD to keep producing the soon to be obsolete ships.
I agree with that point. My goal is to make production stock-pileable -- though i need to convince some other people.
Now without minerals, not only is there less strategy involved with fewer foci, but also you tend to ramp up production very quickly and start spitting out multiple ships per turn quite early.
Yeah, the foci are a little lean now, but we're focused on the future when more will be added.