The myth of low-hanging fruit

The myth of low-hanging fruit

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The myth of low-hanging fruit

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Startup / Blogs 678 Views 0

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Watch out once you use the phrase “straightforward” to explain different individuals’s jobs.

Illustration by Jason Zimdars

I guess you’ve muttered or heard at the very least considered one of these recommendations from another person in your workplace:

  • “We’ve by no means had anybody in enterprise improvement, so there have to be a ton of low-hanging fruit she will go after with just a bit little bit of effort.”
  • “We’ve by no means completed any social media outreach, so think about how a lot new visitors” — low-hanging fruit — “we’ll get if we simply begin tweeting stuff out.”
  • “We’ve by no means adopted up with clients who cancel to raised perceive why they left, so I’m sure there’s loads of low-hanging fruit available if we do these interviews.”

I’ll confess I’m undoubtedly responsible of getting thought in these phrases. Why wouldn’t I? By definition, pursuing low-hanging fruit must be a no brainer for any enterprise. A simple alternative merely ready to be seized. Little sweat, all reward!

The issue, as I’ve discovered over time, is that the notion of low-hanging fruit is usually flawed. We assume that choosing it is going to be straightforward solely as a result of we’ve by no means tried to do it earlier than. You assume you realize, however truly you don’t.

In my thoughts, declaring that an unfamiliar process will yield low-hanging fruit is nearly all the time an admission that you've little perception about what you’re getting down to do. And any estimate of how a lot work it’ll take to do one thing you’ve by no means tried earlier than is more likely to be off by levels of magnitude.

What’s worse is whenever you load up these expectations on staff or new hires and assume they’ll meet all of them, shortly. You’re principally setting them as much as fail.

We just lately discovered ourselves on this very place. We employed somebody for the primary time to run enterprise improvement at Basecamp. We figured we might make a couple of calls, shortly line up a couple of partnerships, and see the outcomes pour in. Since we’d by no means had anybody concentrate on this space beforehand, we counted on there being a load of treasure simply inches beneath the floor. How exhausting might it's, proper? Seems, we’ve needed to do fairly much more digging than we realized to unearth the gold. In truth, we’re nonetheless wanting!

The identical factor occurred once we determined to start an e mail drip marketing campaign — to extend conversions of Basecamp trial clients to paying ones — which we’d surprisingly by no means tried earlier than. Beforehand, we had been sending customers an e-mail once they signed up, and nothing a lot after that. So we determined that sending a number of extra follow-up emails over the subsequent a number of days may shortly transfer the conversion numbers north.

Low-hanging fruit, proper? Mistaken.

Definitely, we will transfer the numbers . And we’ve already discovered a ton from these new drip campaigns. However the concept you’ll immediately transfer needles since you’ve by no means tried to maneuver them till now's, properly, delusional. Typically you get fortunate and issues are as straightforward as you had imagined, however that’s not often the case. Most conversion work, most business-development work, most gross sales work is a grind — a whole lot of effort for a bit motion. You pile these little actions into an enormous one ultimately, however that fruit is method up on the prime of the tree.

So the subsequent time you name somebody’s job straightforward — or inform an worker to go decide some low-hanging fruit — cease your self. Respect the work that you simply’ve by no means carried out earlier than. Remind your self that different individuals’s jobs aren’t so easy. Outcomes not often come with out effort. If momentum and expertise is in your aspect, what is tough can masquerade as straightforward, however always remember that not having completed one thing earlier than doesn’t make it straightforward. It often makes it arduous.

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