December 1, 2022
If you’re anything like my old self, you create systems and projects in anticipation of the future.
There’s a natural tendency to make predictions that justify our decision-making.
The problem is that we’re most often wrong and the result is time wasted creating useless systems, solving problems that never emerged, or we create our own problems by overcomplicating.
Most projects aren’t critical or impactful.
When I was COO at Jaspr.co, I had implemented a basic system to manage filter replacement subscriptions. A colleague at the time took ownership of updating the system so customers could change the filter replacement cadence on their own. A customer portal of sorts.
Months later we looked at the data and concluded that only a few customer’s had changed their subscription which would have only taken a minute to manually adjust upon request. It added a layer of complexity to the system and took time away from solving more pressing problems.
The solution is to let friction be your guide.
What does this mean?
Start simple and don’t assume problems of the future.
Wait until progress is being halted or significantly slowed down before attempting to optimize systems or create new projects.
This is the most efficient path toward progress because it guarantees that you’re prioritizing the things that matter most.
Unless you’re able to accurately test your assumptions, keep things simple and let friction be your guide.
Go ahead and try it:
Before creating a new project or attempting to optimize, ask yourself… Will it significantly reduce friction?
See you all next Thursday 👋
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