Obsessions can be useful or harmful.
Thanks to GigaOm I learned about Jeff Bezos’ obsession in a footnote he wrote to Amazon’s 2008 letter to shareholders:
” At a fulfillment center recently, one of our Kaizen (continual improvement) experts asked me, “I’m in favor of a clean fulfillment center, but why are you cleaning? Why don’t you eliminate the source of dirt?” I felt like the Karate Kid.“
Amazon’s obsession with continual improvement has permeated their culture and made them a great company.
Here are just a few dangerous obsessions holding back many of our readers from more success:
- Data collection obsession – 79% of businesses obsessively capture Internet traffic data, yet only 30% of them changed their sites as a result of analysis.
- Keyword obsession – Keywords don’t fail to convert. We fail to convert visitors for that keyword.
- Short copy obsession – Of course people won’t read your copy if it isn’t relevant.
- Search Engine obsession – SERP rankings are crucially important but I never met a search engine spider with a creadit card. What happens after the searcher clicks through matters just as much.
- Shiny new object obsession – It’s the corporate version of ADD. Companies get distracted with the newest new new thing, invest lots of energy into it then they have unrealistic expectations of success.
What are your company’s obsessions? Are they useful or harmful?