I'm not persuing this idea as a product right now. You can see what I'm working on on the homepage. I'll keep using this for myself and "learning from the past" will be the secret weapon of my startup.
I’m not sure how good I am at following through on things, and I’d like to be better. I think as an individual and as organizations, we come up with these big plans but don’t look backwards to decide if they were right or we even did them. There's an overlap with this and Workplace Education as well as Personal Productivity and Habit Changing. Much more detail below.
Record what you want to do this day/week/month/year, then score yourself at the end of the period on two categories: did you do it and was it the right thing to do?
The scorecards below are explained here.
|Mandatory||Averse||✔️Nice to have||Important||Law changed|
|Metric||Won't have||Can have||Have|
|Founders||1 in 10||✔️|
People and organizations that don't learn from their mistakes.
I'm the target user as an individual, and for organizations when working at a company.
This is one of the products I most want for myself and the company I start. At the same time, I’m not at all sure it’s a good business idea. I think it solves a problem, but I’m not sure people want that problem solved.
Maybe it’s just where I’ve worked, but I think people spend way too much time designing systems compared to understanding them. We’re switching to Agile. Ok, what’s our project management process right now? And in three months, how successful were we at switching?
This is partly because most systems (and even attributes) are simply declared. We send a newsletter every Monday. We hire the smartest people. They’re all timeless statements, like this is the thing that always has been and always will be.
If you switch to the past tense, it becomes more obvious to everyone that you’re not so perfect (or you have to outright lie). We sent a newsletter every Monday, except a few times it got pushed to Tuesday. We hire the smartest people, except Tom who turned out to not be smart at all.
And if you switch to the future tense, it draws attention to the fact these are just guesses about what will happen. We’ll send a newsletter every Monday. We’ll hire the smartest people.
I think both of these things are painful, and incredibly valuable. By actually looking at the past, you can learn from it. By acknowledging the unsureness of the future, you can prepare for it. You lose both of these when talking timelessly.
A process to make this reflection easier is to freeze the plan when you have one, look back at it later and ask two questions: Did we do it? Was this the right thing to do? The product of these two binary questions is informative and actionable.
What if you don’t have the plan from before? Then just describe what you actually did and the answer to the first question is yes.
I think this is a valuable practice, and I’ve started doing it myself. But is it a product? Is it a business? I’m guessing not. I don’t see much here to sell here that you couldn’t get from a word processor and a calendar.
Maybe this is like expressing gratitude. It’s great for you, but no one does it. If you made an “Expressing Gratitude” app, you probably couldn’t give it away. I’m sure people have tried.
Still, I might make something just cause I want it.