Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Lessons Learned in 2007 and What's Ahead for PinPoint Performance Solutions in 2008

As I reflect on 2007, two things emerged that defined the work we did at PinPoint and the causes we advocated or rallied against.

  1. Focusing too much on things that are less important.

  2. Making things bigger or more complex than they really are.

Focusing too much on things that are less important
In September, I wrote about about how I thought some product developers tend to concentrate too much on a single aspect or set of features and not enough in other areas. Some work with a local company last year reminded me of this post and I was part of the effort in redesigning their corporate website. One of the company leaders who was spearheading the project spent a lot of time making sure the home page looked a "certain way." It was, to say the least, a very frustrating obstacle to get the this company leader to overlook.

The reason why it was so frustrating was the assumption this person had about his audience. It was very difficult to get him to understand that not all users, especially his target audience, make their way to the home page of their website first. Understanding how their audience searches for information was key, and more than likely they would search for the products they were selling and not the name of their company.

Assumptions about your target audience can lead you down the wrong path. In the case of this company, it delayed the launch of the site. When you make assumptions about your audience or focus too much on less important aspects about a product, you delay you chances of success or miss opportunities all together.

Making things bigger and more complex than they really are
In June I wrote a post that was somewhat similar to the previously mentioned post.

It bothers me when I engage potential clients who are reacting to the actions of their competitors. Though it is rarely spoken, it often comes back to "Everyone else is doing it, why aren't we?"

I'll heed my own advice and not make this point any bigger and more complex that is should be. The point is companies and product developers should be doing what works best for them, what they know best and what meets the needs of their end-users.


One final note, I'd like to say it has been an pleasure writing this blog since its inception in late 2006 and throughout 2007. This year, you will notice fewer posts on a monthly basis. The focus of PinPoint Performance Solutions in 2008 will be quality over quantity. Thank you for reading and I look forward to your feedback and input on future posts in 2008.

1 comment:

Richard I. Garber said...

Putting up a doorknocker on your web address rather than a real home page is the worst example of both focusing on things that are less important to the user and making things bigger and more complex than they really are.

When National Association of Corrosion Engineers ( first put up their web page (about a dozen years ago) all you got after about 30 seconds of dialup modem time was a lovely, full color, full page, high res version of their logo. You had to click on the logo and wait another 30 seconds to get to the real home page. Members of that technical society were not amused, and the doorknocker soon came down.