A few weeks ago, I reponded to a post on Jeff Jarvis' blog, asking his readers to help with the title of his upcoming book, "WWGD: What Would Google Do?" Apparently Jeff's publisher wanted him to ditch the WWGD part of the title, suggesting that it was redundant when combined with the rest of the title. Jeff felt that without the initials, the joke (a play on WWJD - What Would Jesus Do?) would be lost.
The readers commented with various reasons why Jeff should either listen to his publisher, or stick to his guns, with Jeff jumping in periodically. After about 75 comments that went on this way I had to jump in. Here's an excerpt from my post:
This is a great exchange, but to me it doesnt matter what we all think. You should decide based on What Google Would Do, since that is the point of your book (as I understand it).
I went on to discuss how the joke may not naturally play out the same way twice, and how he's trying to control a viral message. Would Google try to maintain such control? Here's Jeff's response:
Well, theres the best advice of all. what would google do if they created someting this? what would be googley? simplicity, I suppose.
I'm not sure where Jeff will end up with his book title, but I am sure that he will think about the issue differently. What's interesting to me is that 75 people obediently responded to a question that forced a choice between two options, both of which may not be the right answer.
The next time you find yourself facing a similar choice, and the options seem to be based on one opinion versus another, ask yourself whether you are trying to answer the right question in the first place. And then ask yourself what your customer would want, because the answer to that question is where you will most likely find the highest value solution.
Based on the questions in Jeff's response, he's not sure yet what the answer is, but he is seeking an answer to the right question.