Optimized to Death

When a team is faced with a new problem, the instinctive reaction is to start measuring a bunch of things. KPI's, dashboards, OKR's, analytics etc.

Data is helpful and it tells a story.

But it is a story.

When you introduce metrics, someone has to interpret the data. Interpretation means meetings and debates.

Analytics don’t tell you what to do, they show a version of what happened. This isn't necessarily bad, but it does have a crucial unintended side effect. It takes a lot of time to make sense of it all.

The most important factor in launching new things is speed. Your goal is to get to the other side. Generating momentum is crucial. Great ideas can get optimized to death. Creativity is stifled by endless discussions and prioritization sessions.

What matters most is being decisive. Effective teams will respond quickly if the initial decisions prove out to be wrong - in early stages your instincts will be right. Relying on data will just slows things down.

Trust your hunches and talk to your customers. Optimization can wait.