I’ve written before about the unhealthy defaults that we revert to when we don’t take decisive action.
There are default life-paths that you fall into (just like 90% of the population) that will make you average. Entropy will make sure of it by pulling you towards the middle of the distribution curve….
– The default ‘food pyramid’ that everybody follows will give you average energy levels and an average waistline. Actively eat more vegetables and eliminate sugar and you’ll break the default.
– The default education path will make you a really good employee and get an average office job. Keep learning forever and you’ll be able to do whatever you put your mind to.
– Watch 4 hours of TV every night and you’ll have average inputs. Ditch your TV, read books, and have conversations with interesting people and you’ll improve your thinking and become more intelligent.
Those are some of the unhealthy defaults you need to deal with.
But some defaults are great. Especially when it comes to developing and launching tiny products.
1. Sticking to the default settings and templates help you get stuff done and launch things.
These are good defaults…
the default font in your WordPress theme
the default email signup form in MailerLite
the default software that comes pre-installed on your computer
the default microphone in your iPhone
The idea is to use what you already have to just. get. going.
All this tweaking and customising that your brain instinctively wants just puts barriers in front of getting things out there. You want the fancy podcasting mic and the sexy website design and the custom fonts but there were no Air Jordans with Michael Jordan started. He just wore what he had.
The second reason is just as compelling…
2. After the delay in setting up, the fancy customisations end up corrupting your test data.
If you launch with a gorgeous $20K web design, you’ll probably get people signing up for your product because of the design and not because of the core offering of your product.
What you really need to understand whenever you’re testing your product is whether people care about your product DESPITE the default design and typeface.
The same goes for split-testing the colour of your buy-now button. When you first test your product, just say what it is and what it does. If it gets attention because it does something that people want, it doesn’t matter what shade of yellow you use for your button. Just use the default that’s built into Podia or Shopify or Stripe or whatever you’re using.
The first time I launched an online course, I did it by sending a Paypal link in an email. I didn’t even have a sales page, let alone one that I’d split-tested and optimised. I just wanted to get pre-orders for the course to prove to myself that it was worth creating in the first place.
There’s no need to worry about all the details you think you need to worry about.
Whatever it is your product does should be important enough that people want it without all the window dressing.
Pieter Levels launched NomadList with a Google spreadsheet.
Ryan Hoover launched Product Hunt as an email list.
I launched Letterlist with a 3-page website that I made in a few hours and shared it to Product Hunt
Before I invested in creating an app for Hackerpreneur Magazine, I sent a Paypal link via email to get pre-orders.
The bottom line…
Question your assumptions. Question everything you think a product needs to be.
Just start where you are with what you have around you because it’s not just easier and faster, it’s actually better too.