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.
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?
- More is great when you aren’t able, or willing, to focus. If I was being negative, more is great for “laziness.” Cast a wide net and hope some folks are caught in it.
- More is more forgiving to mistakes.
- More fools people who are blindly focused on metrics–and not interested in digging deeper to make sure they aren’t misinterpreted.
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.