Building what there is a need for, or building to create a need

Why do people buy things? Why do users use a new app? Is it because it solves a need they have? Does said app have to solve a specific need?

If the answer is yes, then it makes sense to be really sure that need exists before committing to building something. But what if the answer is no?

What if users use a new app only because it's become true that other people like them are using it? 

Instagram never really filled a need, rather it becomes cultural. It became a thing that your friends use. A way of connecting with the people that matter, but it's only useful because they also use it. 

How would you possibly test, before you build Instagram if Instagram is going to be the thing people use?

This isn't just limited to big apps with millions of users. How about expensive headphones. We had headphones for a long time. They were good, you could hear the music without any problem. Then having really good headphones became a thing people cared about. Before people cared about it, there wasn't the demand for the volume (pun intended) there is today. Now many people care about good quality headphones to listen to their music, but why do they care more now than they did in the past? 

Is it because that they see other people, people they think are similar to them caring?

When you build an app, or create anything, what makes it successful? is it filling a need, or is it potential users realising that using you're app is now to sort of thing people like them use?

Avoid the distractions

Following on from yesterday, it's not enough to simply identify the one change worth making. The other improvements, the ones that will take up your time and energy without giving you the benefits. They are there, sitting, waiting, ready to pounce the moment you have some mental space. 

No sooner have you put into action your big change than you start to realise the active part of that only takes a few minutes or hours. The benefit from from waiting and seeing that change go over days and weeks. You realise you have a lot of time before you see the impact, and you realise you still have a full recipe of small changes available. 

Small changes that will demand your attention, and pull you onto them rather than making the small tweaks to your big change. 

Keep the focus, keep the attention on the things that matter, and avoid the ones that don't.

Impactful Change

There is always a choice of things to change. A choice of things, any of which will make things better. Not all of them are equal. 

Some changes are small, but easy. There are a lot of such changes but the number of them is so big they get lost in the chaos and back and forth of day to day reality.

Change comes when you find the one thing that has lots of consequences, and commit to that one, powerful, effective change. 

What one thing is it worth your time to put extra time into changing? Worth your time because it will pay off more than you put into it?

It takes time

Picking up a new skill takes time. It's easy to forget, and fall into the trap of getting frustrated that progress isn't as fast as you want. 

I just played my second game of tennis. It didn't go well. But it's important to focus on the things that did go well, the few serves that were in, the few returns that were delivered with good technique, rather than the many shots into the net or too long. 

Over time the ability to naturally do these things well grows. The process includes a stage of being terrible. Thats how this goes.