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Doing it Right

I was reading a book the other day and it quoted John Wooden. I didn’t know who he was but if you like basketball, apparently he was pretty awesome.  His famous quote is: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?”  From my experience (with myself and my clients) the answer is “never”.


I worked for a company that was a serial offender of this quote. They would have a bright idea for a service, get about 75% of it done, launch it, whether it was right or wrong. Then they would say “We just need to get it out there, we need this to make money NOW. We will fix it or complete it later.” But they would move on to the next idea and this unfinished service would remain that way for about a year until they closed down the service because it wasn’t used any more (and really never was after the first 2 months). Which wasn’t surprising since it wasn’t ever finished!


But when they actually took the time to complete a service idea and do it right (which was rare). That service would last for years and bring them in a steady revenue.


This way of doing business became very old, very quickly. Internally our focus was always off. We were always moving on to the next big idea, leaving the last one to collect dust. If we tried to go back and actually finish any of the forgotten projects, management would always say the new projects took priority.


Externally, it confused our clients. They never knew if a service would work or not or how long it would last. This became very detrimental to the business. For ever new customer they gained, they would lose one. In short, their business hit a plateau in revenue and customers.


After several years of this, the company, with the help of a consultant finally got it through their heads that they should complete an idea or not do it at all. Or if they insist on releasing it, it should be released as a beta with benchmarks to meet to determine if the project should be completed or now.


Either way, the quote from John should make you think a little bit about your business. Are you doing what you are doing right? If not, do you have time to redo it and will you?

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