True to The Lean Startup principles featured in Week #4, I’m conducting a retrospective to report what I’ve learned in the first six-week cycle of this humble effort to develop something useful. Here’s Lesson #1:

It’s funny that I’m the person who champions Dieter Rams’ “Less But Better” ethic by writing 2,000 words about it.

Writing clear and concise material is difficult. This is especially true with my formula of breaking down the core findings of a 500 page book over the course of five business days. I’m realizing the limitations. It isn’t only a strain for me; so far, it appears to be a strain for others.

When looking at the data, my most popular posts are short and compact. There is a steep drop-off with my book reviews. Titles matter, too. I think that also drives a response.

Here are my top three posts from LinkedIn.

  1. Cheap, Fast, Or Good. Pick Two.
  2. How To Get People To Do Stuff
  3. Think Big, Start Small

Here are my top three posts on Striving Strategically.

  1. How To Get People To Do Stuff
  2. Unknown Unknowns
  3. Loser of the Month

It’s different material and I don’t know why. But the articles all have a lot in common. Strong titles, rich but concise information, better images, nothing too deep.

The lesson? This is obvious but knowing the audience matters a lot. I’m learning that the audience so far has perfectly reasonable preferences for something less than 5,000 words. Which is to say the structure of the content is fundamental to its usefulness. A singular theme delivered in a five-minute read with a title that serves as the lead makes a difference.

These posts are some of my favorites, too. I’ll keep honing in with these as the target.

And the book reviews? Those have to continue for now. They serve multiple purposes and I’m delighted to see some people read them regularly. Thank you, each and every one of you.

Photo of Dieter Rams’ designs and the clear influence on Apple’s design – provided from Wikimedia Commons