Striving for Web Site Perfection, When Good is Good Enough
There was a powerful passage I recently found that really struck a chord for me from Tim Ferriss' The Four Hour Work Week. It illustrates a point that needs to be carefully considered with anything done on the Internet. Below is an excerpt from Tim's book:
"Most endeavors are like learning to speak a foreign language: to be correct 95% of the time requires six months of concentrated effort, whereas to be correct 98% of the time requires 20-30 years. Focus on great for a few things and good enough for the rest. Perfection is a good ideal and direction to have, but recognize it for what it is: an impossible destination."
Ferriss, Timothy. The Four Hour Work Week, Crown Publishing, 2007.
There are many times when other aspects of life can teach you something about creating a successful web site. I have yet to stumble across the perfect web site. Tim's point of learning a new language can also be applied to the time vested in creating or maintaining a web site. Web project management and web strategy are each very distinct and through disciplines. I'm not trying to diminish their value in any way. Yet the decision makers involved should always ask themselves "Is X worth the time and money on this project?"
There are web development companies who hedge their entire development budget on very specific details that bring no additional value to a web site. I've been in the same scenario myself. You get passionate about a belief that you personally think will make a huge difference only to ultimately find out that the 20 extra hours you spent tweaking something goes completely unnoticed and has no positive impact.
Good is Good Enough
The marketing great Dan Kennedy is a big proponent of "Good is Good Enough!" Take a look a Dan's web site. There are plenty of web sites that are visually unappealing to say they least. Those same visually unappealing make a ridiculous amount of money for their owners. The notion of "Good is Good Enough" shouldn't be confused with sloppy, reckless, or lazy. If it isn't a well thought and properly implemented effort then it's "Not enough."
At the opposite side of the spectrum there are far too many companies who also do far too little with their web site. The "shiny" new web site gets all the care and attention after being launched only to get moved to the back burner in a month or two.
Companies can get far more out of their web sites by focusing on the right things as opposed to focusing too much on the wrong things. Thinking objectively is one of the easiest ways to refocus on the right things. Instead of thinking of what's going to best represent your company online, think of what might best serve your user's needs.
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