Just do it
Last week I noted Clay Shirky’s comment that for internet innovation “the cost of trying is lower than the cost of analyzing.”
I noted that this was an affirmation of the “Probe and Learn” process advocated by Lynn and Morone in the 90s. Many customer engagement techniques discovered by analyzing high-tech firms in the 70s-90s seem even more relevant in the internet era. “Probe and Learn”, “user toolkits” (von Hippel), “experimentation” (Thomke), and others seem to be more relevant and useable in the Internet era.
This week’s internet example comes from a course at Stanford that assigned students to develop applications for Facebook.
B.J. Fogg, the instructor, noted “Many crummy trials beat deep thinking.”
His key insights from observing the students include
Speed & flexibility in launch & iterations
- Many crummy trials beat deep thinking
- Flexibility beats quality
- Deadly: Getting too attached to one app idea.
Trying is cheaper than analyzing! Crummy trials beat deep thinking!
Nike seems to have it right: Just do it TM
Linear (or parallel…whatever), analysis-heavy, processes for NPD don’t seem to fit this model…they think about it; they don’t…just do it.