I like many other bloggers & people interested in social media marketing, I love Seth Godin who is an author & social media marketing whiz. He just “gets it right” every time. Recently he wrote a piece about 3 core things that can potentially damage or bring harm to any project. They are:
• Overpromising.-never forget one of the cardinal rules of business:
Under-promise & OVER deliver, NOT the other way around. Barack Obama is re-learning this very painful lesson right now when it comes to the ACA.
All of us lose sight of the fact that things always cost more than originally planned; take longer than originally thought & the end result rarely matches the one in your “mind’s eye.” We are bound to get tripped up by at least one or all of these things; it’s just the way it is so it would be prudent to try to account for these possibilities in advance.
• Under sharing: In the process of a project, Godin notes that we tend to “hide.” What does he mean? We don't disclose our problems, mistakes &/or worries. In doing so, we force the rest of the team to operate blindly. Once the process of hiding begins, changing course becomes much more difficult
The final problem he talks about is
• Lack of Polish: While the hard charging, “show -me-the-deadline” mindset is one way to force yourself through the resistance [procrastination?], that approach has a price—judgment of the final product. No one will care how much work you did, or the number of hours it took; judgment will be about how it works, looks and feels which is something that comes from polish, and polish cannot be rushed. A great example of this last pitfall can be exemplified by Apple vs everyone else. No matter the product, Apple doesn’t bring their product to market until the hardware is elegant & the device is ready…it’s one of the many things customers know/trust about them. Everyone else rushes their stuff to the marketplace & then starts fixing it afterward, something that is especially true for Microsoft
• Two final thoughts:
- Sometimes…sometimes the improbable happens & all three of these elements combine like a positive “perfect storm” to make something successful. Godin considers this to be the result of sheer audacity of being under-informed, combined with the ego strength to make the final push over a deadline in order to produce a great product. To be clear, this is by no means a reliable way to work. Therefore if that’s what your creative process requires, than you need to be up front with all stakeholders at the outset.
- Finally, as a result of the internet, there is another way- launch an incomplete & sloppy product polishinjg it incrementally in public. According to Godin, this a form of oversharing, because when thousands of people can see “the sausage being made,” not only are you unable to hide what it looks like but you also can't hide from the resulting feedback. Working this way requires a bit of cognitive re-adjustment; the launch isn't the end, it's the beginning. There is a very real consequence to functioning this way; polishing in public means you are never really done which is something you have to plan for ahead of time. On the other hand, for some projects this way actually works well because the truth of the matter is the project never really "is done." One example of this is a business website which is an organic thing, constantly changing & being updated with fresh material about the business added all the time.