Is The Porridge Ready?

I love this story my friend Rich Barker told to explain his Goldilocks and the Three Bears Rule.

After a church service he’s standing next to the Pastor as people come over to say goodbye. The first woman comes up and says “Pastor, I loved the sermon today, but unfortunately it was just too hot in here.” The next woman in line comes up and says “thanks so much, I loved the sermon. Too bad it was so cold in here.” As she walked away the Pastor gives Rich a look of WTH. Without missing a beat Rich grabs another woman from the crowd and asks her “so how was the temperature in here today? Was it too hot or too cold?” “No Rich, it was just right.”

The golden rule today in business is to delight and amaze our customers. We use the tools we have, social graph tools like Facebook and interest graph tools like Pinterest and the old school social tools likes mouths, eyes and ears, to discover what we can do to add value to our customers’ lives. Then we do our best to deliver what we build and profit while doing it.

But no matter how careful we are to make something awesome, no matter how passionate we are about delighting our users, someone will find it too hot and someone will find it too cold. I’ve seen small businesses and friends at startups try to make sure every Goldilocks concern is dealt with before they release a new product or service. The problem is that no matter what we do, there will always be a few Goldilocks (Seth Godin calls it “Alienating the 2%“).

If you’ve truly done your best to create something amazing, just ship the damn porridge. Goldilocks may still not like it, but most of your customers are bears anyway.

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