Moving the Needle, Part II

January 08, 2009

Posted in Marketing.

In Moving the Needle, Part I I wrote about avoiding the Kool-Aid effect when you read a new book or blog post and speaking in platitudes.

At the end of the post, I included a final note: “Do something: move the needle.”

This was the most important part of the post, and it was buried at the end. At least I made it italicized, right?

About the Needle

A while back, I found myself spending an hour a day reading feeds. It became a chore. More importantly, it was an hour that I wasn’t producing. I wasn’t blogging or writing software or thinking about the next great thing. I was taking input. The same with reading books or doing research. It’s input.

Moving the needle is about output. It’s about making a difference. At the end of a long day, I often feel frustrated at how little I actually produced. I might have had a crazy day filled with meetings and responded to hundreds of emails, but those rarely mean I created value. Those hours weren’t well-spent, they were just spent.

Find Your Needle

Moving the needle is also about having a needle in the first place. What’s your needle? What are your goals? How are you measuring? How do you even know if you’re moving the needle?