Decisions When Building Your Product: To Ponder or to Pass?

A successful business is built on good decisions. Like the foundations of a house, decisions can affect the future stability and resilience of the whole structure.

This is why sometimes it can be so difficult to make a decision. Knowing that choosing to follow one path in favour of many others can have far reaching consequences sometimes leads us to hesitate and delay.

However not all decisions have the potential to cause disaster. Some just help you on your way without the risk of business-shattering repercussions. The trick is to know which decisions to ponder and which ones to simply make and move on.

Recently I’ve been putting together the components of a product. It is mainly video-based and I’ve been creating a transcript and audio recording to accompany each video.

As I was working on this I wondered how best to organise the material. Should there be an individual transcript available for download with each video, should I put all the transcripts together in one volume, or should I zip the individual transcripts into one file?

Obviously I had to make a decision, but the options kept spinning round in my head. I’ve seen many websites where the individual transcript was available below each video, but organising them into one volume seemed less work and perhaps tidier. Yet a single volume might be a large file, so maybe the zipped option was best.

I’m also beginning to think about the content and organisation of a membership site. Again there is much to think about. If I am to add new content every month, which topics should I start with and which should I leave for later? Should I organise the content on the site by its release date or by subject?

Eventually it occurred to me that I had been spending some time considering all the options and had yet to reach any decisions. Should I really spend ages pondering the finer details or should I breeze past them?

Then I came across a piece of wisdom from Alex Jeffreys. Something I could use as a rule of thumb. If you’re spending too long on a decision ask yourself ‘will the decision stop prospects becoming customers?’

Almost instantly it became obvious that the decision concerning the transcripts was not one to spend a lot of time on. The fact that there were transcripts might help a prospect decide to purchase, but they would not even know how the transcripts were presented until they had access to the videos.

Similarly the presentation of the membership site’s content was less important than the topics I would be covering.

The principle is to firstly convince your prospect to become your customer. The decisions you make that affect that step are the most important. Then once they have access to your material they can let you know if your other decisions were right or wrong. Don’t try to second-guess your customers. They’ll let you know if they don’t like something.

It may be the case that people will prefer the transcripts presented differently to the method I choose, but I’ll never know that until they can access the transcripts. Members may be fine with content organised by subject rather than date, but they can’t have an opinion if they don’t even join.

So in the end it’s a case of don’t sweat the small stuff and it seems to me the best way to identify the small stuff is to use the rule of thumb: will the decision stop prospects becoming customers?

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2 Comments

  1. Hi David,

    all I can say is ….. GUILTY !

    Jeepers I do this so much – sweat the small stuff I mean. Although I am making a conscious effort to move past that.

    I like the qualifier – “Will the … becoming customers?”. I should have read this post weeks ago, as I do tend to mull things over and truth be told if I’d thought about many things in these simple terms, I could have saved myself a whole lot of heartache and time.

    I console myself at least partially with telling myself that I just like to produce the best I possibly can, and that does sometimes require some ‘pondering’.

    Cheers for a great read David 🙂

    All the best buddy,
    Paul

    1. Hi Paul,

      I’m sure lots of us are guilty of doing this. As with so many things it’s a question of getting the balance right.

      Thanks for your comment.

      All the best,

      David

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