The Most Destructive Thing You Do: OverShoot

Everything is Being Destroyed!

You've seen those movies where astroids come rushing to Earth to destroy our way of life? It's scary, isn't it? Until the hero steps in and figures out how to unite global powers, coordinate national resources, and assemble a working plan all within 90 minutes or so to defeat the enemy. But here's the thing: in those movies, it's really clear that the depicted destruction is really rare.

This Type of Destruction isn't Rare

What if there was another kind of destruction that wasn't so rare? What if it was happening all around you? What if it was happening right now?

What if you were doing it?

Would you want someone to tell you? Would you want to know about it?

More importantly, would you be ready to change your destructive ways?

OverShoot is Destroying You

The destruction is something called “overshoot”—whether it's product overshoot or your overshooting service delivery. The concept is simple—you overshoot when you keep adding more value past the point where value is needed—to the detriment of your own product.

Salespeople call it, “talking past the sale.”

One designer calls it the law of diminishing tweaks.  In fact, I'll be speaking about this concept next week at a meetup in Orange County.

I've also written about it before (see the related posts at the bottom of this article).

In short, when you keep adding more and more to your products or services you end up doing three things:

  1. You increase the cost of delivering that product or service
  2. You increase the cost of maintaining your product or service
  3. You train your customers to think “more features” means more value.
None of those things are good for you—and they're all slowly destroying you.

You're Destroying More than You by OverShooting

It'd be one thing if you were the only casualty of this destruction. Sure your own work-life balance would suck, but it would be at your own doing. But when you live in the world of adding more and more features, and you train your customers to believe that feature-bloat = value, what do you end up with?

  • You destroy your environment—if you're in the WordPress world, you know what I'm talking about, go look at
  • You destroy your product—there's no longer a sense of what “core” value you deliver. Have you opened up Word lately?
  • You destroy the definition of value—have you bought a 35 MegaPixel camera yet? Trust me, they'll be out soon.

Do the Opposite…Kill Features…Find your Center

I know this doesn't sound technical or scientific, but every product (and every service) has a core. A center. A reason for its existence. Find it. Embrace it. And start killing all the stuff around it. You'll watch your maintenance and support costs go down. You'll see customer satisfaction go up. And more importantly, you'll stand out.

And trust me, you want your product to stand out. And not because it's a harbinger of global destruction!