The illusion we have today in the marketplace is the buffet trap. We see everything that is available to us. This includes apps, freemium software, business ideas, low-cost labor and new growth hacking strategies.
It’s all available and cheaper and more accessible than ever. But if we gorge with indiscriminate adoption, we underestimate the mess which comes from having too much on our plates.
Think about the costs which you will eventually have to deal with by approaching business with abandon and indiscriminate selection:
- Management. Every new shiny platform is something to login to and manage. Poorly used technology creates drag on your productivity and psyche.
- Exiting. When you want to undo the work, you have to figure out how to get your team to pivot, move data and even stop working with a service provider. These all take cycles. You have to deal with the inertia.
- Mediocrity. Trying to manage too many fronts is far less efficient than doing a few things that matter well. The opportunity cost is hard to measure, but it’s real.
- Disappointment. If you kill a project that has an audience or users that depend on your service, you damage your credibility. You created dependency and now have let people down. Sure, you didn’t want to limp along, but what about those that got used to your system?
We don’t feel like there’s a cost because it’s easy to start something. I do think it’s important to constantly be testing and examining new ways of doing things. That’s the real-time R&D we can all drive in the midst of our speed economy. However, when we pick things to commit to and miss the cost of discontinuing something, you expend money, time, attention and credibility that could have been avoided with a little thought on how things might play out.
How can you be more discriminate in choosing tools and projects to take on?