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Do It Wrong Quickly is the right choice

Drew McLellan posted an interview with me in which he kindly says that “Do It Wrong Quickly Is the Right Choice And even though I literally wrote the book, I understand why that advice is still hard for people to accept. I have trouble doing it wrong quickly myself sometimes. The latest time revolves around my redesigning my own Web site.


If you’ve looked at my Web site, you may have wondered if it was designed in 1998 and never repainted. It’s not quite that old, but it does have dated design, for sure.
I have to admit that it looks dowdy. And when I managed the top-notch Web designers at ibm.com, several of them told me, “Your Web design suc…uh..is dowdy, boss.”
Clearly, I had a choice. When I started my Web site, I could have decided that the collective Web design skills of my wife and me were sub-par, so I am not ready for a Web site yet. But I decided to “do it wrong quickly” and go ahead and start my site anyway. I had something to say and I hoped people would overlook the dowdy design. (Thanks to all of you that have.)
So, after lots of suggestions (and help) from many friends (and a lot of patient waiting on their part), I am close to being able to upgrade my site to a new design. (A design from this decade.) You’ll see something soon. It won’t be awe-inspiring, but it will no longer be embarrassing (I hope).
So, I am going to change the design soon, but I still don’t love it. I want to add buttons for social bookmarking. I am not sure the colors are right. I am not sure the navigation is the best.
But I am going to release the new design anyway. It takes enormous amounts of time to redo a Web site, and even more time to do all of these extra things I am listing. At some point, I have to say, “Hey it’s better than what I have now, so I should do it wrong quickly.”
It’s hard to do, however. I’d really prefer to wait until it was “perfect”—until I was really happy with the new design. Because I know this design is “wrong.”
If I do launch the new design, though, people can help me change the colors or spiffy up the navigation. And they can tell me about more problems that I might not have figured out on my own, no matter how long I waited, no matter how long I thought about it.
And that’s the reason to “do it wrong quickly.” You admit that what you are trying is probably wrong, but you know that the feedback you get will tell you what to do next. So, keep an eye out for my new design and please tell me what you think. I know it’s wrong, but I think it’s an improvement.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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