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The intermittent idea

She loves me, she doesn’t love me, she loves me, she loves me, she doesn’t love me, …

Have you ever found yourself with that idea that is in people’s minds and, no matter how much you explain that it’s not the moment, it appears and appears and appears and appears continuously?

It’s not the first time it’s happened to me.

In fact, it is quite common when building first versions of products.

The creator of the product has just seen some functionality and is absolutely convinced that putting that in his own product will be a wonderful thing.

And he comes and explains it to me.

And I go and analyze it.

I don’t like to give answers without thinking through the arguments and the options (analytical mind stuff) so I usually listen and then go to my Dexter lab to gut it and assess it.

And I conclude that this is not a slight change. That adding that functionality is going to take considerable time.

And time, especially when you’re launching a new product and you haven’t yet validated that it’s going to make sense in the marketplace, is an extremely critical thing.

So, I go and talk to the creator, I explain the reasons why now is not the time. That, if that’s the case, later.

And he understands me and makes that face of “Well, what are we going to do about it”.

And we all continue to move forward with the project.

And a few days later the creator returns with more or less the same idea. Maybe a bit in a different guise. That it would be fabulous to have this. That we’re going to have an exciting time with it.

But it’s clear that at heart it’s the same idea. And, therefore, the analysis and the conclusion are exactly the same.

By the way...

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And so, I explain it to you again. Finally, he withdraws once he gets the promise that we will look at it later. With all the love. Once we have launched what we have in hand.

And a few days later another member of the team shows up, explaining that the idea has come up again during lunch and that it really seems interesting.

It’s time to go to the nearest wall and start head-butting it.

Obviously, there are ways to make it clearer: an email to everyone explaining the idea, its impact and that it will be explored in the future.

Maybe even a formal presentation.

However, those intermittent ideas can be very persistent.

But very.

I’ve even seen cases where when they have the product delivered the question comes back: “What about that functionality? I thought it would be there”.

But it is explained, re-explained and documented. But they are still not happy with the answer.

To the point where, once the product is ready, it’s time to re-negotiate: “This is great but, before launching it to the market, we could add that thing we were talking about a while ago, couldn’t we?

Or the more sophisticated ones: “I’m putting this on the market while we figure out how to add that functionality”. Only to realize a short time later that, in reality, they are not making any effort to sell it, waiting for the final product they had in mind.

Speed is important when launching new products. Many times, you must be drastic when it comes to cutting features.

We all fall in love with our products and our ideas, but very often it is not the fact that we fall in love that matters. What is important is that our customers fall in love.