Does it happen often that you started working on an idea and then you just can’t let it go? Because you are in love with your idea more than the problem you are solving.
And now, you have worked hard to design the basic screens, code for a month and are almost there to launch it. But as you give it more time, you start feeling less confident about it. But you continue working on it anyway because you have already spent too much of your energy and time on it.
This is called Sunk Cost Fallacy — the idea that people tend to stick with the courses of action they have invested money, time, or effort in, even when continuing is not the best thing to do..
How should we avoid this?
I love the approach that Amazon follows while launching any new idea. They work backwards. They work backwards from the customers following a strict framework around it of writing an internal press release.
This internal press release is centred around the problems customers face, existing solutions to solve the problems and how will our solution solve the problem in an innovative way.
This process helps the product managers and all the other stakeholders involved to question everything before starting to invest in the idea hence reducing the chances of sunk cost fallacy.
What’s the framework?
Heading: Name the product in a way the reader (i.e., your target customers) will understand.
Subheading: Describe who the market for the product is and what benefit they get. Only one sentence.
Summary: Give a summary of the product and the benefit. Assume the reader will not read anything else so make this paragraph good.
Problem: Describe the problem your product solves.
Solution: Describe how your product elegantly solves the problem.
Quote from You: A quote from a spokesperson in your company.
How to Get Started: Describe how easy it is to get started.
Customer Quote: Provide a quote from a hypothetical customer that describes how they experienced the benefit.
Closing and Call to Action: Wrap it up and give pointers where the reader should go next.
Often building a product, it’s easy to get carried away building new features. With the help of a press release, we can always go back and ask, are we following what was mentioned in the PR? If not, why?
Following this approach will help you build for the right reasons which is solving for the customer needs.