TMB 5/52: Powerful Ideas > Perfect Measures
Powerful ideas, imperfectly measured, are more useful than perfect measures for not-so-powerful ideas.
The goal of your business is to transform how other companies do business. "That happens outside our product, we can't measure it," says the data scientist. But is it impossible to measure? I would argue otherwise. How to Measure Anything: Finding the Value of Intangibles in Business by Douglas W. Hubbard is a good start. One option might a regular cadence of structured interviews focusing on 2nd order impacts. While we're at it, we might measure other powerful ideas like trust and flexibility.
We hypothesize that thoughtfully written content acquires customers more effectively. The powerful ideas is the idea that (we think) it is worth spending time to write good (8+ out of 10 level) content! While content quality might be subjective, it would be a mistake to not try to measure this and test our hypothesis. As a start, we could classify each of the existing posts on our site. Even a coarse-grained categorization scheme can work. And then look at customer acquisition, and downstream retention.
Don't skip your powerful ideas. Get them down. Map them out. Consider minimally viable measurement. Reducing uncertainty a small amount for a powerful idea is more valuable than being 100% certain about a generic ideas.
Interesting point, I'm gonna check the book!!
I just put a hold on 'How to Measure Anything' at my local library. Thanks for the recommendation!
Do you have any other books or articles you might recommend about how product managers can improve at defining metrics?