practical questions versus curiosities

A few years ago during an interview with a marketing executive at a medical device company, she asked me: ‘what product color sells the most? Is it green? Is it blue? What about purple?’

Using my background in data analysis I proposed how we could find out, but before I could finish she leaned toward me and whispered: “it doesn’t actually matter.” 

This medical device company was notorious for bringing products to market faster than most of its competitors. 


Because, among other things, the product development team spent far less time debating what color a wire should be than its competitors. 

There are practical questions and curiosities with anything we do. 

Practical questions are the things we need to address in order to achieve a specific result. Not answering the question will cost you. 

Curiosities are the things we entertain because, as the label suggests, we’re curious. Not answering the question won’t cost you. 

The ability to move quickly is a direct result of being able to spot the difference between the two in our roadmaps, meetings, and task lists. 
The color doesn't matter for a medical device company's products because people need the device for some medical purpose. They couldn't care less about the color. Try telling Apple that color doesn't matter. 
2022-06-23 13:35:06
oh, I imagine color definitely matters for most consumer products. 

Doctors do like gold plates on their devices though because you can see the device under fluoroscopy :P 
2022-06-23 18:27:08