Excuses, Excuses

Today on Twitter I asked for examples of all-too-common or uncommonly pathetic reasons for skipping research on a design/development project. We've all heard some variation of these before, but I am always amazed. Many were some variation of "not enough time and money", as though research comes in standard units of $100k/month. Apparently, a manager who won't try a new sandwich place without scouring Yelp for hours will happily plow forward investing major resources in unexamined assumptions.

This is how people make business decisions?

I thought I'd quickly share some of the responses here as a virtual wall of shame—something you can print out and tack to your office refrigerator. In a future post, I'll get into strategies for overcoming these objections, starting with considering research as a set of activities you can do quickly, inexpensively, and incrementally.

The cargo cult:

The split-test bake-off:

Thinking is hard:

Unclear on the concept:

Next you'll ask for champagne in the break room (wait, some startups probably have that):

Shut up and keep paddling:

Odd use of the word "target":

The winner, for pure fatalism:

And, of course, geniuses don't ask questions:

In response to this last one, I highly recommend watching even the first three minutes of this internal NeXT video of Steve Jobs talking product strategy.

Are there other excuses you've heard and would like to demolish? Leave them in the comments.


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