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If Less is More, Why Does Everyone Clamor for More?

by Hank Barnes  |  August 28, 2018  |  Submit a Comment

Focus.    When things aren’t going well, it’s one of the first things that people bring up.  “We have to focus.”

Quality beats Quantity.  We hear that too  (as long as the quantity is sufficient to meet objectives).

And yet, all around us are examples where what we do differs from what we say.

Source: pixabay on

Source: pixabay on

For e-mail subscribers, we tout the number of people on our list, not the quality of them (and many times, IMO, that list is largely made up of people who unintentionally got on it–and that we make it hard for them to leave).  And the lists are getting worse, Dave Brock regularly shares with me massive volumes of spam from one of the world’s largest CRM companies that are sent to any name that ever appeared on Dave’s site–they are buying or building bad lists and hoping for the best.

We complain about bots and fake accounts, and yet the market reacts negatively when user growth of sites like Twitter and Facebook slow down.  Even those of us who tout the need for focus and quality (myself included), fall into the trap.  We are effectively conditioned to focus on more vs. better.  And, we’ve conditioned the entire ecosystem to think the same.

It’s a never ending race to more.  Are their any benefits to this?

On the other hand, more may not be so great.

  • More makes it harder to find what really matters.
  • More dilutes investment, and focus.
  • More may not just forgive mistakes, but hide them (making it harder to learn from them).

Is there an answer to this dilemma?  I’m not sure.   The only thing that comes to mind is be thoughtful about your quest for more.  Recognize that you may need more for outsiders, but if you want to focus, if you want to be better, if you want to be different. then look for opportunities to strive for less—and make sure you make the case early and often as to why you are doing it.

Don’t fall into the more trap blindly.  Be thoughtful.  Maybe, just maybe, we can end the race to more where it really makes little sense.

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Category: go-to-market  

Tags: metrics  strategy  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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