50 shades of “it doesn’t really matter”

I just read a brief post by author and marketer, Seth Godin that reminded me of a decision I made in the office last week. He references multiple choice tests… and while my job is very far from multiple choice tests, sometimes I find myself belaboring over diminishing returns, the lesser of two evils, or multiple positive outcome-related multi-variate decisions. For example, we’re running a program whereby we are sending new students a logo polo shirt. This is a really cool item and this program is not run by most other schools. I won’t go into the why or how of the program, but I will say I was asked to choose between a few different grey colors as the option for the shirt (and an even more heinous light blue one). After looking at them all, and disliking them all, I realized it didn’t matter so much as to what shade of grey, but rather, that we were sending a decent shirt out at all. I wouldn’t have enough data in the test set to determine if one shade would be better than another if I wanted to further segment the testing.

I just needed to pick one and move on to more important decisions.

You have to remind yourself, and your staff, that some decisions should not require too much time. Focus on what matters. The 50 shades of your decisions probably won’t matter most of the time.

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