We must not promise what we ought not, lest we be called on to perform what we cannot. – Abraham Lincoln
As we accelerate our path towards open source, transparency, and ubiquitous connectivity – entrepreneurs and businesses will succeed or fail depending on whether they keep their promises or not. That means we need to put as much thought into what’s worth promising as we put into anything else.
It’s very tempting to describe what we are working on as being “perfect for that” or “the X for Y” or to respond to customer feedback by saying “well that’s what feature X will do for you”. But that’s all messy and confusing. We can’t be everything for everyone and by trying to do so – we’ll never be able to make a clear promise to anyone.
Yes, iteration is critical, ideas incrementally improve, and we may not nail our promise from day one. But let’s think less about how to tweak our promise to match what we are working on and more about what promise is worth making and exactly what it’ll take to deliver on it.