The Name of the Game is the Game

27 Aug

Over the past month or so, I’ve read The Console Wars (about Nintendo vs Sega) and Marvel Comics: The Untold Story (how Marvel got started).

A common thread between them is that the best thing to focus on was the product itself. For the consoles, it was “the name of the game is the game” … provided your game is good, everything else will be taken care of. A similar phrase applied to comic books (on a side note: reading the book on Marvel made me realize how unplanned comic book stories are. And how exhausting it all seemed).

Now, I may not necessarily agree with that (the Internet is not like Rome … if you build it, they will not come), but the overall premise is 100% true. Far too many people focus on fluff and ancillary stuff that doesn’t matter – web design, exact email verbiage, etc etc. Provided your core product is solid, people are willing to overlook your mistakes.

Do the small details matter? Yes. But far too often they are dealt with while leaving the core to rot.

About 3 times a week I have people I know email me suggesting that should do this, or do that, and so forth. I love these emails – it gets new ideas percolating in my noggin and it also lets me see how others perceive as. And yet always, at the end of the day, I come back with “our focus is on our research now.” Even our two products came by organically – the Supplement-Goals Reference from user demand to make it accessible in a large reference manner, and then the Stack Guides from users who said they just wanted step-by-step directions. Our upcoming third product is the same – fixing a problem we’ve had our users ask of us.

Don’t lose focus or get distracted by quick but not long-term dollars.

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