I have a technology problem. Any time there’s a new product released, I’m there. I’m on ProductHunt every day, drooling over web apps, mobile apps, hardware, software — all it takes is a shiny product page and I’m hooked.
Look, more often than not, I’ve given into the temptation to pick up the latest and greatest new products. I want them bad enough that I can’t seem to say no. I do this for tablets, and laptops, Android smartphones…hell, I’ve been known to stare endlessly at unboxing videos just watching the new products being tried out for the first time.
I rationalise it. I think well, you know what, if I just had a new Apple Watch, I could get my fitness under control and turn into one of those oh-so-Instagrammable gurus. Deep down, I know that I could get fit just as easily with a pair of old joggers and a $5 stop-watch. The issue isn’t lacking the tools, it’s lacking the motivation to get off my ass, to stop eating crap and to make health a priority.
This is something that a few entrepreneurs have demonstrated to me. I’ve talked to founders and small business owners who have been convinced that a brand new e-commerce system or some plugin is going to take their business to the next level.
Or, more frequently, that moving their team onto Slack is going to save the whole fucking operation.
But here’s the truth. No new product is ever going to change your life, or turn your business into a winner.
The simple reason for this is that all products are just tools. Tools that we can use to entertain, educate or achieve productivity. But no tool will ever do anything if it’s not being used for the right purposes by the right people.
Half the time, when you think that a new product will change everything, what you really mean is that you’re struggling in your business with something difficult. An obstacle or a problem. And you don’t know how to solve it. So you’re hoping that throwing a shiny thing at it will make the issue go away.
When you’re considering an investment in a new tool for your business, you need to stop and ask yourself two crucial questions.