Mic Check Vol. 22: You hooked them with your story. But how do you keep them?
Let's talk leaky funnels.
We're all in the business of building products that improve people's lives. In the sea of questions around how to do this well, the one that seems to get the least attention is: how do we make it easy for our product to be adopted?
The most pressing problems I face as a founder and leader likely already have compelling solutions. The problem? Too often, the costs of adoption are too high and outweigh the potential benefit of using the product.
If our products require a change in behavior from our users (spoiler: they probably do), that's a huge ask. Layer in a learning curve that requires patience to manage and pressure to show fast ROI to other stakeholders, and frankly it's a miracle anyone tries new software at all.
Of course, some companies do this exceptionally well, and I'd argue those tend to be the ones who win. Canva and Notion come to mind: while the products themselves are robust and feature-rich, the experience of a new user is simple. I Google "Instagram ad template," and Canva shows me an Instagram ad template that I can design and ship in minutes. I'll probably come back to explore their other templates, but the important thing is that I didn't have to master their full suite of features before getting value from the product.
What are the best examples of simple set-up and immediate value that you've seen when adopting a new product?
Raman at Rhetoric
📚 Open tabs
What team Rhetoric is reading during those awkwardly-timed few minutes between Zooms.
Neurologist Oliver Sack’s 2019 piece, The Machine Stops, is one of those bits of reading that I’d put on a syllabus for “How To Exist in 2022.” If you’re building something right now, it’s a must-read.
The Storyteller’s Rulebook in general is worth a bookmark, but entry #164—Ideas are the enemy of observations—has had a particular impact on my regular day-to-day communication.
Unless you’re Kim Scott, delivering feedback probably holds an evergreen spot on your “things to get better at” list. This 2019 (wow, what a good year) piece from HBR offers a fresh take on what good feedback looks like, and why most of us are doing it wrong.
✨ 1% better
What we're trying this week to become 1% better at communicating.
I was on a demo call a few weeks ago and, candidly, was pretty tuned out. The rep had clearly predicted this, because the next slide posed a question that she actually wanted me to answer. It was something like, “can you guess what the results were?”
It was a simple question that both tuned me back in and made me actually care about what the answer was—since I (of course) got the answer wrong.