How Attached Do You Get To Your Own Inventions?

Mark has a dilemma on his hands.

He’s just published a new eBook, and wants to use it on his landing page to build his email subscriber base.

As a friend and colleague, Mark asked me to go to the website and download the eBook, and give him some feedback.

The book content is great: clear, concise, and relevant.The design of the book looks top-notch, too.

The download process needs some work. It takes eight clicks and two forms to complete before you actually receive the book.

I told Mark about my experience. I explained how I would have preferred a simpler process.Mark sent me a lengthy email reply. He told me he understood my point of view, but then asked if I realized what I’d be missing.  He wrote,

Yes, we could add an email form right to the first popup page. The downside is you would never get to see the slick landing page. My web designer worked real hard to make it look so pretty.


We all face Mark’s dilemma from time to time.In this case, Mark is so invested in what he’s created (the slick landing page), that it’s hard for him to realize that for the end user, slick is not the highest value. Ease of use is.

It’s understandable Mark and his designer are invested in the slick choice. They spent time, energy, and now have an ego attachment to their work. Letting go of the slick page would probably be akin to admitting that they made a mistake.

Mark and his designer built an experience that pleased them; not one that was built to please their customer. Their process lacked customer empathy.

The fact is, I didn’t even notice how slick the landing page was. I was just frustrated by the number of clicks needed. The built an experience without considering the end user.One of the hardest parts of creating anything is the willingness to leave some of your best work on the cutting room floor. It may be fantastic, but, in the greater scheme of things, it just doesn’t work.

Creativity shouldn’t be limited to your first choice. In fact, research has shown what Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling stated:  The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.

As this new year begins, how open are you to the possibility of a second (or third or fourth) choice? It may turn out to be your best idea yet.

What do you do to make sure you don’t get too attached to your own initial ideas? Join the conversation by leaving a comment below.

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