When creating software, it’s often worthwhile to prepare a quick-and-dirty demo to see if the concept holds promise, argues Jason Fried of 37 Signals.
But bureaucracy and a need to “get it right the first time” can stifle this sort of innovation, he writes:
I suspect we’re not the only company dealing with this problem. In fact, I bet that obsessing about quality too early in the creative process prevents a lot of good ideas from taking shape. As businesses grow, all sorts of things that once were done on the fly–including creating new products–have a way of becoming bureaucratized. As a result, the wrong sets of pressures are brought to bear. Doubts, deadlines, resource planning…all of this stuff is essential. But only later on. Fretting about such matters at the outset only gets in the way.
This lesson doesn’t apply only to software. In marketing, our desire to launch the perfect product or the perfect campaign can keep good ideas from seeing the light of day. And since perfection in marketing is measured by results, we won’t know what works until we try it. Our instincts are probably wrong, so we have to remain open to new ideas and to running tests to find out if they’ll work.
How do you keep the marketing juices flowing in your organization?