Monday, January 20, 2014

Management Memes: Fast is Better than Perfect



Get to market. NOW!
This tip is for everyone. 

FAST IS BETTER THAN PERFECT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Money is wasted trying to perfect products that you don't know how a userbase is going to react to, so your best bet is to get something that works out there and see what "sticks." Listen to the users and do more of what they like. Fix the stuff they think is broken, and remove the rest. 

FOR THOSE THAT THINK I'M CRAZY
This does not and cannot apply to every product or feature, but the point is to get some perfectionists and control freaks to let go of SOME of their own personal issues and get the product in front of a user. Let's see what I'm suggesting. 


Perfection can make you extinct
THE WORLD HAS CHANGED
Entertainment products don't have to be perfect. They have to work. If you are spending your time perfecting products, you could be wasting your time. Or becoming a dinosaur. 

FAST IS BETTER THAN PERFECT
Get something out there that works before it works perfectly. You need to know what features the public wants; not what you think it wants. Why spend money and time on a feature only 1% of the user find useful? 


And they are opportunities
to make things right
USERS CAN HANDLE MISTAKES 
People can handle things not working as they expect, if you give them a way to talk to you. This is what social media is for: so you can talk to your customers. Listen to them and they'll take you far. 

BE HONEST
Users are smart. They know when you are lying and when you are telling the truth. Lie and they leave. Tell them the truth and they stay. Not every time, but as a generality, that's the way it goes. If you are lying, they eventually catch you and you'll have to do a lot of damage control to get things back to right.

USERS EXPECT IMPROVEMENTS
When you release a product that's not complete, but it works, they expect that their complaints are going to be listened to. Provide them with updates on the status of their requests and you find that they are still behind you and are on your side. 
Real users matter more, anyway

IN CONCLUSION
When you are making a product that is user-centric, the best way to know if you're making what they want is to watch them. Since you likely can't afford a thousand people coming in for focus groups, the best way to get that feedback is to release it to the public. They can tell you what you're doing right and what you're doing wrong. Listen to them and you'll go far. 

Good luck!

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What do I know?

Feel free to look me up here.

meme mēm noun: an element of a culture or system of behavior that may be considered to be passed from one individual to another by non-genetic means, esp. imitation.

As a manager (and reader of a bunch of stuff) for the past 20 years, I have had requests for management tips. Some things work; some don't. Some are magical wins. Some are spectacular failures. Your mileage may vary. Whatever the case, these techniques have worked magic for me, time and time again.


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Billy Joe Cain started his game industry career at Origin Systems in 1992, and has participated in the creation of over 200 hit games for home game systems, mobile platforms, and PC / Mac, and has launched three game development studios in Austin, Texas. He believes that games are going to save the world through improving brain plasticity in adolescents as well as making education fun. 











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