Projects are like rivers. They start as a trickle and grow as more people join. As the river grows, it hits rocks. These rocks are the challenges that projects face, such as misunderstandings, missing features, and resistance to change.
Friction is a natural part of any project. It's a sign that the project is growing and evolving. It's also a valuable signal that helps us prioritize action.
Don't run from friction. Embrace it. Use it to learn and grow. And don't be afraid to create friction to measure the response. People's actions (or lack of actions) tell you everything.
As the river grows and hits more rocks, it becomes more visible. This is a good thing. It means that you're making progress. It also means that you need to deal with the challenges that you're facing.
Remove the rocks and the river runs more smoothly. This creates momentum and attracts new people to the project. More people mean more water, which means more rocks. And the cycle continues.
This is the normal course of any successful project. Friction is your friend. It's a strong signal that helps you prioritize action.
Examples of friction in successful projects:
- Twitter: early users complained about the 140-character limit.
- Tesla: early customers experienced long wait times for cars and charging stations.
- Uber: early drivers complained about low fares and long hours.
- Airbnb: early hosts complained about damage to their properties.
These companies all faced friction in their early days. But they didn't run from it. They embraced it and used it to learn and grow. As a result, they became some of the most successful companies in the world.
How to deal with friction in your projects:
- Identify the rocks. What are the challenges that your project is facing?
- Prioritize the rocks. Which challenges are the most important to address?
- Remove the rocks. Develop solutions to the challenges that you've identified.
- Monitor the results. How are your solutions working? Are the rocks staying gone?
Remember, friction is a normal part of any successful project. Embrace it and use it to learn and grow.