sethI follow Seth Godin’s daily blog, and I was struck by today’s post.  Nutshell:  what would happen if you scaled up by a factor of 10?  I was talking with a friend of mine about this concept recently:  doubling the people with brooms makes any sweeping job go twice as fast.  But when a woman’s growing a baby, more people don’t help.  It still takes nine months.

In any marketing effort, doing more of what works definitely ramps up impact.  But there’s a limit:  more leads to more until it flattens out and eventually decreases impact.  Think email marketing:  I buy something from C. Wonder.  They send me their email promos once a week.  Then they jump to twice a week.  Then to twice a day.  At what point do I quit opening them?  When do I say, “Stop, C. Wonder!  No more!!!”  And they lose me.

bell curve


It’s finding that sweet spot where you’re maximizing impact while minimizing fallout that’s the challenge.

On the non-marketing side, going all-in and scaling up to accomplish the goal can be challenging because of the risk-averse nature of business.  “Let’s pilot this, and if it goes well, we’ll commit”  or “Let’s do what we can within existing headcount” gives you a way to ease out when things invariably don’t go perfectly, and you look wise (rather than like a failure) for bailing.  When actually, you may never have achieved the threshold needed to guarantee success.  Sins of commission are always more egregious than sins of omission.





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