Making Sausage vs. Making Sayings

Recently, I tweeted how including video in a landing page increased conversions by 50%. A successful friend, whose advice I greatly respect, cautioned me that “only creating value matters”. Despite my respect, and surface-agreement, it’s necessary to point out that making sausage is what creates value, not quote-sharing.

Creating value is #1 on a startups todo list, but for that to be actionable, it needs to be broken down into concerete activities, ie, what are the steps it takes to actually make the sausage and produce value?

It could be improving your messaging, improving your UX, optimizing your pricing, improving your reach, improving your retention, or any number of REAL value-adding activities. Each startup needs to understand what THEY value relative to THEIR mission. What works for us may not work for you. The onus is on you to take the time and actually define concretely what your measure of success is, and execute like hell against it.

Startup quotes are great, but startup progress is king. (see what I did there?)


Making sausage is a topic of much discussion here in Boston, and many small-table sausage-making conferences are being hosted around the city. In particular, I admire the efforts of co-founder Brian Balfour, and long-time friend & product-guru, Christopher O'Donnell.