Watch for mind gremlins

Do you ever get mind gremlins?

They're the nagging worries in the back of your mind.

We get them about tech stuff:

"Do I have Google Analytics configured properly? Is it reporting correctly?"

We get them about marketing stuff:

"Should I be posting on Medium? Am I missing out on a good channel?"

If you're a product person, you should pay attention to the kinds of things that make people anxious.

Building a new product?

A recurring worry that's felt by a lot of people can be the seed for a new product idea.

For example, Intercom created a product that taps into a common business owner anxiety:

"How many people are visiting my site, not getting the answer they want, and leaving forever?

They solved this problem by introducing a chat widget that allows an owner to be available for questions from website visitors.

Business owners love it. They start using it and instantly see results (sales go up). Also: their stress goes away!

(BTW – I'm using this exact process to build my new product).

Have an established product?

Your customers get mind gremlins about your product too. For example, I've heard from some Stripe customers who wonder:

"Am I overpaying for credit card processing? Is there a better rate out there?"

Identifying and alleviating these worries can proactively help you fight churn.

Stripe could, for example, send an email to their customers that says:

"You'll always get the lowest rate with us, guaranteed."

The most dangerous mind gremlin a customer can have is this one:

"Am I still getting value from this product? Should I keep paying for it?"

Your challenge, as the product owner, is identifying those people before they leave.

One method for identifying potential problems is sending your customers the Product / Market Fit Survey.

(if you're interested in that, I just made this tutorial + worksheet free)

Here's a good practice to get into: create a note called "Mind Gremlins" and update it whenever:

  • You notice yourself having an anxious thought
  • You overhear another person having an anxious thought

This is what mine looks like:

Mind gremlins in Justin Jackson's notepad

I hope this is helpful!

Justin Jackson

PS: are you anxious about stuff like "Am I using Google Webmaster Tools correctly?"

These are exactly the kind of gremlins I'm trying to solve with my new subscription service Tiny Marketing Wins.

Launch is planned for Feb 1st, 2017!

Published on January 12th, 2017
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