A friend recently gave me this great book… Little Bets. The basic theme is about how the most successful folks around also ITERATE the most. They try lots of little new things and then amplify what resonates for their audience/customers. One great example is how the comedian, Chris Rock, shows up at a small comedy bar in New Jersey to test out new content. Most of what he does flops there, but he makes note of the ones that get the laughs and keeps iterating until he gets the best content for his HBO specials and tours.
I’m a big fan of iterating in every business I’m involved with. Here are a couple examples of how we’ve iterated recently and discovered things that resonate:
1. PosterBrain adding Wurther’s candy to every order – customers now regularly email us about how much they love the little surprise inside.
2. StickerGiant sending follow-up emails to every customer to see how their stickers turned out – we now get both rave reviews and know right away of any issues
3. PaySimple simplifying their online application to take half the time to complete – drastically improving conversion rates
4. SurveyGizmo promoting “Enterprise Survey Software” on the homepage – increased conversion rates of our core business
Sounds easy, right? Well, for every success there’s probably 10 things we try that fall totally flat and one that actually has a negative impact. The key is to test without shame and as nimbly as possible. My mantra has always been “how quickly can we test this?”
I find that it’s real easy to over-engineer projects and as a result they can take way too long to see the light of day. An example of an idea that I was involved with at RegOnline four years ago, has finally launched with tremendous impact… a one-page homepage (no navigation bar) has seen a 90% lift in conversion! What was our opportunity cost of not having tested this four years ago?
How many little bets can we make this week to see what happens?