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Not stepping away from “maker mode” is costing you

If you own a product or a business, you probably spend a ton of time in “maker mode”.

That’s when you’re constantly busy building, feature after feature, strategizing, planning.

And in most cases speculating.

Unless you get something out the door and get feedback on it, you won’t know whether that works or not. The same is true for any marketing or messaging you work on.

Musician and composer Brian Eno once said something interesting about this:

“A lot of people never leave the studio when they’re making something, so they’re always in that maker mode, screwdriving things in – adding, adding, adding. Because it seems like the right thing to be doing in that room. But it’s when you come out that you start to hear what you like”

That’s a great point. How often are you getting out of the studio to “hear” if whatever you’re making sounds good?

It also reminds me of what John Delorean did when he was working on his Pontiac GTO (yes I’m onto a muscle car history spree)…

At the time, in the mid 1960s, cars were seen as a tool for the family, or for the busy corporate man, hat and suit, taking over the world. But something was changing.

Younger people were getting interested too, since the introduction of bigger engines and faster cars. So Delorean experimented, by putting a bigger engine into a lighter vehicle, making it flashy with nice details and race tyres.

Then he drove that car to and from work every day to try it himself.

But he didn’t stop there, once he was happy with it, he gave the car to a friend and told him to try it.

The guy didn’t want to return the car! That was great feedback. Delorean was ready to give a shot to his new idea.

It’s the sort of guerrilla research that a lot of businesses never do, but that’s costing them a lot.

Next time you find yourself busy building the next great product (but it’s admittedly been ages), stop and ask “What’s the smallest step I can take to test this out with real feedback now?”

I’ll start.

This week I’m launching the MVP of my Chrome Extension. It’s called UXTeardown and it’s great if you need to collect screenshots along with notes on each, give them a score (or not) and automatically generate reports. A lot of people even use it to collect ideas and design/copy inspiration for their swipe files.

You can download it for free on the Chrome store. If you do, I’d love any feedback or a review.

Here’s to testing stuff and collecting data.

brain dump?

Every day (yes!) I write about what I’m learning at my copywriting/UX desk ,with fun, insightful and quirky stories.

Let’s nerd about decision making, persuasion, habits, and conversion optimization.