I mentioned last week that I spoke at the Internet Strategy Forum Executive Summit in Portland, Oregon. Conference speakers know that you’ll sometimes see reviews of your speeches in blogs afterwards. So I was happy to see one entitled “Mike Moran is a Genius” but I think it would come as a distinct shock to people who know me well. But behind that humorous title is something that I think is worth thinking about.
I think we could all look like geniuses if we listened to our customers more. And responded to what we heard. In fact. it is amazing how smart you look when you do what your customer really wants.
So, as flattering as it is for someone to think I am a genius, I think what I am proposing when I say “do it wrong quickly” is that it is OK not be a genius. It’s OK to admit that what we are doing is probably wrong. And it’s OK to try it anyway.
We can measure how our customers respond and then try something else. After a number of these iterations (maybe a very high number), we may eventually lurch into the “right” answer—and look like geniuses.
So, thanks Ben, for that highly complimentary blog entry. It just makes me think about how all of us can look like geniuses by trying things. When they don’t work (they usually won’t), then we try something else.
On a side note, one place where I am most definitely not a genius is in setting up contests. My first contest drew exactly one entry and my second one, which times out on August 1, has so far (wait for it) one entry. So if you have a story on how listening to your customer made you look like a genius, please pass it along—you may win a copy of me new book. If you can tell a story of how you were able to do it wrong quickly, enter now.
About Mike Moran
Mike Moran has a unique blend of marketing and technology skills that he applies to raise return on investment for large marketing programs. Mike is a former IBM Distinguished Engineer and the Senior Strategist at Converseon, a leading social consultancy. Mike is the author of two books on digital marketing, an instructor at several leading universities, as well as a Senior Fellow at the Society of New Communications Research.