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What you don't build is nearly as important

Because that means you didn't spend time on something that isn't useful.

What to build next

While building a product, deciding whether to build something is very important.

Deciding not to build something can be just as important.

Deciding whether to build something is the first step

We posed several questions before deciding that we were going to build something:

  • Is this suitable for accomplishing what we want, or is it just something that we want to build?

    You must make sure that the tech and business roadmaps aren’t diverging.

  • What harm can it do?

    Can the initiative actively harm what we’ve already built? Sometimes the answer to this is yes, but the long-term benefits would be worth it.

  • How long before it can pay off?

    How long before the initiative starts moving the numbers that we want it to move?

  • Will it move the numbers that matter?

    Consider the impact of what you’re trying out and see all the possible numbers that might be affected. Then, gauge whether the primary effect will be what you need.

  • What are the answers to these questions for initiatives that are competing for time?

    If another initiative has better answers, then it should be done first.

Any initiative that doesn’t answer these questions satisfactorily should not be done at that time.

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