Money doesn’t lie

Google’s mission was to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Today, 81.3% of their revenue comes from advertising, which admittedly has little to do with making information universally accessible.

Facebook’s mission was to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. Today, 97.7% of their revenue comes from advertising, which admittedly has little to do with giving people the power to build community or bringing the world closer together.

If you don’t measure the right things, it’s very easy to end up in a very different place from the one you initially had in mind.

No, thanks

What is valuable to your audience?

We design experiences with our own benefit in mind, trying to make life easier for us, adding an additional step so that we don’t have to do some more work.

And the burden of all this, of course, is on the user. Who has options and kindly says, no thanks.

Founder bias

There might be many wrong aspects in these emails (and some good too), but the key thing here is that they reflect a bias – or a series of bias – that many founders fall for.

It’s the idea that just because they do work (successfully in this case, but that is not necessary) in a certain way, then everybody else is supposed to do that too.

It’s the idea that by doing more of the same they will automatically scale the results.

It’s the idea that in order for their employees to show they care, they need to conform and comply.

This is typically building an enormous blind spot for founders and their companies. And that’s very dangerous in the long term.

Not imperative

It’s not imperative that you are involved in everything.

It’s not imperative that you understand everything.

It’s not imperative that you check everything.

It’s not imperative that you fix everything.

It’s not imperative that you control everything.

It’s not imperative that you point out the flaws and defects in everything.

It’s not imperative that you vet everything before it gets out.

Once you understand this, you will be surprised by how things still happen, with good results, without you being there to take credit.

It’s empowering.

It’s liberating.

Figure it out

The current situation is unprecedented. The pandemic is putting a strain on everybody. A huge amount of people have suffered serious consequences.

And if after two years your company is still using Covid as a tentative reason to excuse poor customer service, delayed deliveries, price increases, product shortages, it’s time for you to stop.

Rethink your business, instead, and figure out a way to provide the experience people expect.

That’s your responsibility.

Note: the image of this post is from Tom Fishburne @Marketoonist.