Create Value Before You Create Risk

It can be an exciting time when we decide to initiate a project, build an application, or design a compelling solution. The idea may look brilliant and compelling in our minds and we may feel the urge to tell the world about our latest endeavor. Hang on a minute. Telling people we intend to do something is different than having something to show them. And it’s a long way from having actually done something. Telling others of our intent may be valuable to us by creating an external motivation. That is, if we tell others of our intent, we may feel compelled to follow through on our stated promise. But that expressed intention has little value to those we told and can create a false expectation. Plus, it’s hard for anyone to spread the good news if there’s nothing to show.

Start by creating value. Instead of telling someone what you are considering, or committing to, show them what you’ve already started. Show them the work in progress. Give them something to anchor on. For two reasons:
– What you say you will do, will likely change once you start doing it – for market reasons, design reasons, budget reasons, etc.
– Others understand and respond better to hard evidence, than words.

In other words, speak with action not words. Your action, your prototype, your first cut at it makes for a much more vivid and interesting discussion and collaboration once people have something to anchor the discussion on.

The other powerful and compelling reason to start with action, instead of talk, is that once you get in motion and actually produce something of value, other people will recognize and respond to that creation. In the best circumstances those people you show your work to will contribute, collaborate and spread the word about what you or your team is working on and it will drive energy and awareness to your project. It’s much more difficult and less inspiring to spread the word about what someone intends to do, as opposed to share what you and your team have actually started to work on.