Don't Wait Until It's Perfect
By David Berky
The Nike slogan "Just Do It" is good advice.
Lots of people are trying to create a website, product,
article or any type of item that they will sell, distribute
or make available to the public. But some hesitate to "let
their child go." They won't post their website or start
selling their product or distributing their article because
they don't think it is ready.
It's not perfect yet. It just requires a few more tweaks, a
few more features, a few more revisions. Many of these
products never see the light of day and are discarded when
something else comes along. Their creator may move on,
become disinterested or just give up.
One term for this failure to offer their item to the public
is known as "analysis paralysis". People can get so wrapped
up in analyzing their websites, products or articles that
they never consider them complete.
I have seen this many times, especially with websites.
Someone will come up with an idea for a business or
informational website and work night and day on it. It will
become their lifeblood. They will talk incessantly about
it. But whenever I ask when it will be ready or posted, they
always answer, "I just have to do a few more things" or "I
just have to tweak it a bit more."
I often encourage them to post it on the Internet so that
others and I can look at it and give feedback. But always
the response is "It's not ready yet." Unfortunately many of
these sites never become ready.
The trick is, especially with websites and products, to put
something out there; just get it out into the marketplace.
Then you will begin to receive feedback, critiques and of
course, criticisms. But these are the real analysis that
you need for your product. You need to know what other
people think, not just what you think they will think -
don't you think?
The beauty of a website or a digital product like software,
an eBook or an online article is that you can change it,
mold it, adjust it and dink around with it as much as you
like. But just dinking with it because you've got a hunch is
not a very sound practice. You need to adjust your website
or product based on measurable feedback and measurable
For example, if you have a website, you can measure the
traffic using your log files. You can see which pages
people start on, follow their path through your site and see
where they leave.
If a high percentage are starting at your home page and
never going further, you know that either your home page is
turning off your visitors or the people coming to your site
are not the type who are interested in what you have to
If you know you are getting targeted and "pre-qualified"
visitors and you are fairly sure that they are or should be
interested in the subject of your site, then you know that
your home page is turning them off.
Or maybe they are leaving on some other page. Maybe they
get to the product description or call to action page and
they leave in droves without making a purchase or following
through on your desired response. Then you know that this
page is somehow turning them off. Maybe they don't trust
you yet; maybe something is missing; maybe your site design
is a turn-off.
But you will never know how people are going to react unless
you put it out there and start testing, measuring and
analyzing their responses. Actual responses from actual
people, not just your guess on how people will respond.
Here at Simple Joe, Inc. we make PC software and sell it on
our website SimpleJoe.com. We employ the techniques of
market research by putting something out there whether
"perfect" or not and seeing how the public reacts to it.
We start with a basic model of our software product with the
features and functions that we think people will like. Then
as we begin to test, distribute and sell the product we
elicit and receive customer feedback.
Many of the features we add to our products and the changes
we make for the better are based directly on customer
feedback. Often they are things we did not see or think of
ourselves. They may even be things we considered but
decided that people wouldn't want them. Then it turns out
they do so we have to add those features.
Each change based on our actual customer feedback makes our
products more and more useful to our customers. This helps
us "perfect" our products much more quickly and efficiently
than we ever could just by guessing from our own experience.
We take the same approach on our website. Often we will
"just throw something out there" and see what happens. If
we get the desired response we know we are on the right
track. If not, we try something else and see what the
results are. By tweaking our site and its pages we learn
from firsthand experience what is going to work best - and
what not to do.
So the moral of this article is as Nike says, "Just Do It!"
Get your site up, your product out there or your article
distributed and see what feedback you get. Perfect your
products based on actual feedback not your own guesses.
David Berky is president of Simple Joe, Inc., makers of
easy-to-use PC software featuring the world's easiest
accounting software, Income & Expenses. Visit the Simple
Joe website at http://www.si