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When Good Ideas Become Bad Ideas

By October 31, 2017March 13th, 2020No Comments

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As we developed, we learned valuable insights about how things work…and how they don’t. Ultimately, we found some universal truths.

I am thankful for this day.

But it’s not because we are launching, not really. It’s what I learned along the way.

At Baseline Creative, we routinely build software for other businesses. Usually, it’s to solve for a common problem or increase efficiencies. I am excited to share what we’ve built with others, and make a difference. It’s the same feeling I had when we launched PetBridge, software that directly helps save more lives of pets, now in use throughout the United States.

What I realized was this exercise – software development – relied on all of our core disciplines working together to solve a problem and develop a solution that people could use. We looked at tools on the market. We just wanted to find something that did what businesses needed it to do. What we found were good ideas gone bad.

  1. Being everything to everyone makes you less valuable to all. When we researched tools on the market to solve for the problem, we found so many offerings with deep, deep functionality – and when we asked users of the tools, more often than not, they told us they didn’t use the tools available. Just one or two specific aspects were being used. The rest just got in the way.

Spreading yourself too thin leaves far more room for missed opportunities, errors, and failure. It really is better to be great at one thing than okay-ish with lots of things.

  1. The best work you do is the work you do before you do the work. I can’t stress this point enough – in life, in work, the more you invest in visualizing and understanding the outcome you are after and can share that with others before you begin, the more likely you are to realize your goal, together.
  1. Listening is far more valuable than talking. Talking is important – but some of our greatest collective triumphs happened when one of us listened to what someone else was saying, and discerned something that we could’ve missed. I joke that our listening skills doubled the time and cost of the development. The investment in making better choices realized by listening to one another will benefit users and makes our team better.