Look Mum, no hands. And other pointless stunts.

Paul Orangetree

Paul Orangetree on Look Mum, no hands.  And other pointless stunts.

Did you ever ride your bicycle with your hands off the handle bars?

Of course you did. And of course your mum was less impressed than you hoped.

The reality is this. If you do this in the park you might just fall and get hurt. Do it on the roads you might get killed.

But you know what? We do things in business that are just stunts, and add no value.

I received a software upgrade this week. The total impact of the upgrade was to allow me to choose some additional visuals for my email receiving page. The functional value of the updates was zero at best.

But a software developer had taken actual time to do this. The company had bothered to send it out to all users. Someone had decided to invest in this.

Of course, you may be thinking that having more colours available is the best thing ever, but you will be able to think of other examples. In software design we sometimes find ourselves doing things not because they give the customer value, but just because we can. That may have value, from a marketing perspective. Or it may not.

You and I must be sure, in our businesses, that we have understood into which category our current metaphorical biking exploits fall.

Because - and this is important - all product developments would ideally improve customer value, as defined by the customers themselves, not by the research team having an overly creative creative meeting.

Understand, and focus on, the desired high value outcomes in our businesses.

Paul OrangeTree is a business consultant with a passion for getting businesses working simply, and well.

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