Well, it seems I am battling the Bright, Shiny Object Syndrome again. I guess it's a bit like bronchitis or a bad back – when you've had it once, you're more susceptible to it in the future.
You know the BSOS, right? Common signs are when we become obsessed with some cool new idea, technology tool or other interest – so much that we lose all perspective, stay up far too late tinkering on the computer and get distracted from our business goals.
Right now I'm quite enamoured with the functionality of wiki websites, and I'm being wooed by the folks at PBWiki – yes, it actually feels like they're wooing me. I even got a "golden ticket" to try out their upcoming 2.0 version.
I chose PBWiki for my experiment because some other groups I've followed (e.g. podcamp Toronto) also use them. When I started poking around their blog, I saw that Timothy Ferriss chose them, too – not a bad endorsement!
Anyway, back to the BSOS. Lena West of xynoMedia gave me a GREAT prescription for it. She invited me to look at what I NEED first and THEN look for the tool that fits my needs.
While MY first instinct, when I'm blinded by the lights, is to get wowed by the technology and figure out (i.e. scheme, manipulate) how I can make use of it in my business. Then I'm in danger of ending up with a bunch of mismatched tools, a lot of clutter, and running between one system and the other because I didn't think ahead about how they would integrate.
What I'm looking for right now are three things:
- A central repository for client projects (I'm also checking out Basecamp and other project management solutions – though some of the negative publicity about Basecamp really turned me off)
- A way to manage the collaborative editing process more easily (I'm also checking out Google Docs)
- For clients with larger projects, such as full-length books, a way to manage their content that's easier to work with than multiple word files or one long, sprawling document (I've considered using one of my TypePad blogs for this, but because with a wiki you can edit and view on the same screen, it's really no contest)
So I'm trying to remain calm, put a limit on the amount of time I spend on this task, and keep experimenting with an open mind.
How do YOU deal with the Bright, Shiny Object Syndrome? Please add your comments below.
Chris Yeh says
I think you’re spot on when it comes to BSOS–the best way to fight it is to actually use the product. We’re pretty sure you’ll like using PBwiki. And if you don’t, we want to know about it so we can put things right.
And yes, PBwiki is trying to woo you!
Linda Dessau says
Thanks for stopping by, Chris! Boy, now I feel really special!
Chris Yeh says
All of our users are special to us. You’re why we’re successful.
For project management do not go for a tool that will limit you. A full-blown SaaS Project Management Tool (we use Vertabase – http://www.vertabase.com) will let you grow by taking on more ambitious projects. With the confidence to take on bigger projects, because you can control them, you will be able to bill more and grow faster.
The only way to really make money is to move quickly from being able to fill your time at an average rate to billing yourself out at a high level and having a team of 5 – billed at a lower level. If you can manage all this you will be riding high. I would not have the nerve to try this with out higher end project management capabilities.