Is your product too hot to handle?

Is your product too hot to handle?
Photo by Mulyadi / Unsplash

As an engineer, product maker, or inventor, it's natural to obsess over the things we create. Powering them up releases an almost-audible crackle of excitement, a geeky ASMR, within us. We hover over it, the light from our monitors warming us. It's ours, and it is unmistakable.

What we find much harder to see is all that lies in that liminal space between us and our creation. Not just in physical space, but temporal. Those keystrokes, that cognition, this perfectly-executed series of clicks, those hours, minutes, or even seconds of work that we found effortless but were nonetheless necessary to bring us to the place where we could put our creation to good use.

Lost in this wonder, we forget that our prospects are working on an entirely different calculus and context. They didn't make this thing; and sure, it has benefits, but it also comes with real costs: all of those steps they have to take to get into position to really get value out of it.

We're so taken up with value creation we ignore value delivery. And this gap is often fatal. The very last mile, or even inch, of product work, packaging, or support that gives our prospects the ability to experience the same power as we do. Too often, we ship them a lightsaber without a handle. We assumed they had one too! Doesn't everyone?

True empathy will compel us to give as much attention to the handle as we do to the blade. If not, we risk our magnificent work falling into the void as a weapon that only we were trained to wield.

Put the value into their hands. Include the handle.