The 1% Plan

If you’ve hung around here much, you probably know my relationship with golf is a passionate one. It was my first profession and one I still think about from time to time. Even though I’m out of the game for the most part, I still stay in touch with my golf coach and take a few lessons here and there.

Over the last year, I’ve been an observer on a coaching system he’s developing. One of the key elements of his research is measured practice. From here, students can see the incremental improvements over time. It’s important for them to see the small gains. Playing at an elite level for golfers who are already aspiring professionals isn’t about huge leaps. The gap between making it on “The Tour” or toiling on mini tours is not one “Grand Canyon” sized chasm, but a series of three-foot spaces.

The key to successful marketing or product development is the same. This is why progressive enhancement and lean practices are so effective.

Success and failure are built on 1% improvements or declines over time. Each compounds like interest in the aggregate. This concept is nothing new. Everyone from Andy Andrews to Zig Ziglar has written about it at some point. However, we usually apply it to personal endeavors like fitness or art.

In addition to these, let’s look at how we can apply marginal gains to our next product launch or feature build.


Also published on Medium.