Discovery: Beware the trap of easy!

Nearly two years later, it finally clicked.

I often tell new customers how I hated the product when I was a new customer myself. It’s an easy way to build trust up front, but even though I always explain why I hated the product back then (and how the support I was provided made me a true believer), I didn’t uncover the root cause of that hate until this week.

I’d always chalked it up to a lack of formal onboarding—I wasn’t trained how to use the product. A big part of my job is showing new customers how to use our tool to do what they want it to do. I didn’t get that. I got a five minute tour by my boss and a Google Drive full of forgotten content ideas.

It’s not that I wasn’t trained—it’s that the product was so intuitive, I didn’t expect obstacles.

Let’s say you’ve never used Linux before and decide to upgrade an old Windows machine to Ubuntu. You read the how-to, download the files, burn the iso, and actually get Ubuntu up and running first try. But the internet doesn’t work. You google around a bit, try a few things in Terminal, Sudo makes you a sandwich, but nothing works.

That’s frustrating, right? But if you’re honest, you kinda expected you’d run into something like this so it’s no big deal.

Now let’s say you’re ordering a hamburger. You don’t like cheese, so you didn’t order a cheeseburger. In fact, by ordering a hamburger instead of a cheeseburger, you’re easily implying you don’t want cheese on your burger. But this clever, new joint you’re at puts cheese on all their burgers unless you specifically say “no cheese” and your burger comes out covered in golden, melted cheese.

Infuriating, right? You didn’t order a cheeseburger. You ordered a hamburger. WTF.

That’s the trap of easy.

Be aware of situations where something new feels intuitively natural. It causes you to let your guard down. Which makes even the smallest, most petty setbacks seem insurmountable obstacles.

If you think it will be hard and it is, it’s just hard.

But if you think it will be easy and it throws you the slightest curve, it’s unbearable.

Something I’m going to start pointing out to my new customers from now on.

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