Cut The Fluff

Last year I signed up for Audible. I listen during my commute and, as a result, have dramatically increased the number of books I consume.

The majority of what I read is non-fiction. One theme across many (not all) of these books is that they could be much shorter. There’s one or two strong arguments and the rest of the book is filled with stories of how that argument was applied by somebody.

Examples are useful up to a point. After that, it’s fluff. Extra filler chapters to make the book longer and pricier. I don’t need the fluff. Give me the good stuff. Cut the fluff. It’s useless and repetitive.

Now as I start to see signs of this I’ll fast forward a bit and eventually drop the book if I feel I’ve gotten the point. That’s what makes services like Blinkist popular.

In general I’m not a fan of fluff. I try not to consume it or produce it. Writing without fluff is stronger. A product without fluff is more effective. Life without fluff is just… better.

Cut what doesn’t matter. Keep what does.

Deliver On Your Bullshit

A lot of people are focused on bullshit.

And don’t misunderstand — the bullshit matters.

That pitch you gave. The awesome perks and culture you promise recruits.That edgy marketing copy you put on your Product Hunt post. All different forms of bullshit.

FYI — Lysol won’t help

FYI — Lysol won’t help

Bullshit creates expectations, and that’s why it matters.

You need to deliver. Or better yet, over-deliver.

Promise users X and Y? They better be there when a user tries your product. Plus feature Z as a cherry on top.

Good bullshit with no delivery will lead to awesome surface-level metrics, with no real substance behind them.

Don’t get lost in the number of hits, downloads, or registrations there are. Look deeper down the funnel. How many of those people actually stayed and used the product? How many would recommend it to a friend?

There is an enormous amount of money spent marketing shitty products.Pump the brakes and focus on what really matters— the value you provide to people.

Things a startup should not do

Things a startup should not do

Nobody cares that your Facebook ad has a 40% conversion rate if no users stick around after clicking. It means you have a pretty picture and some good bullshit… and nothing to back it up.

For those who use and like your product: Ask them what they like and why they like it. Optimize on things that are working.

Then flip it and ask all the people who dropped or became inactive what they didn’t like. What turned them off? Why didn’t they come back?

You were able to draw them in, but there was something you didn’t deliver on. What was it?

Deliver. On. Your. Bullshit.

If you don’t, you’ll churn and burn. If you do, you’ll learn and earn.