Simple Things Make A Difference

Earlier today, I re-tweeted something from Ken Walden (SuperHatz on Twitter). In his tweet, Ken said: “Do something in your business to help make a process better by 5, 10, 15%, now. Simple actions are the most effective.”

Shortly after I re-tweeted Ken’s tweet, it occurred to me that we mostly focus on long-term goals and grand achievements. Even when we deal with minute details, we often fail to do what Ken suggests – do something in our business to help make a process just a little bit better. It’s not that we don’t care to improve how our businesses are run or how we do our jobs- it’s just that we never stop and devote the time to make such improvements.

So this morning, I sat down with our talented front end developers Chris and Sean and we decided to do something to help make access to our site better. By 5, 10 or 15%. We looked at javascript and css, we discussed image compression, and we discussed how we serve-up files. For example, we allow people to upload logo design and web design concepts as JPGs and PNGs (for display in project galleries), but since we have many submitted images, the numbers do add up quite a bit. We committed to see if we could, by the end of the day, make a modest improvement.

We did. By the end of the day, Chris and Sean refactored our core javascript and css code and we implemented a few other changes that gave us huge performance gains (far in excess of 15%). We felt good about what we did because we stopped, asked ourselves how we could improve something, and just did it. The results were real and immediate.

So – thanks a bunch Ken! The lesson for us: we must periodically stop and do something in our business to help make a process better by 5, 10, 15%. Simple things do make a difference. It’s important not to forget that.