I’ve been thinking a lot, lately, about what it means to add value. What does it mean to add value, everywhere you go and with everything you spend time on?
value – val·ue – nounMerriam Webster Dictionary
relative worth, utility, or importance
There are several definitions of “value” which apply to different contexts. In this case, I’m referring to “value” as it applies to relative utility, worth, and importance (in that order).
Adding value can apply to anything one spends energy on. For example, when purchasing a property, the real secret to ensuring that investment is successful lies in adding value. This is why buying a fixer-upper property at a good price is the best choice for an investment property. Purchasing a property which needs attention, and seeing where one can add value, is the smartest way to increase the value (worth, and utility) of that investment property. Making two large rooms into several bedrooms, improving the flow of the home, etc. These steps all add value in the form of utility.
Adding value to products
Continuing along the same lines as investment properties, building a product is about adding value. The utility of the product needs to be as clear and as useful as possible to your ideal customer for that product. Once the customer is defined, all that’s left is to consistently add value based on what is most useful and beneficial to that customer. This is what I’ve referred to previously as the true meaning of sustainable value. Regardless of whether a feature is small or large in terms of development time, even the smallest feature can add immense value to a customer’s use of the product. Reducing a workflow by several clicks. Placing a button where the customer is most likely to need it. These are two examples of adding sustainable value to your product, with the view of your customer in mind.
Value in your day to day
When moving through your day, consider if what you’re spending your energy on is adding value. In teams, this can look like unblocking your team mates, adding clarity to the tasks being worked on, prioritizing the task list in a product backlog, or better alignment with stakeholders. Most times, the true value creation lies in the simple and small tasks, repeated consistently, in order of importance.
Focusing on where and how you add value is a surefire way to build momentum in your day to day, unblock others, and to begin a cycle of compounding gains from repeating high value and high leverage tasks consistently.
Value is not about time or money. Value is about energy. Focusing your energy on creating value for others will lead to compounding benefits for your customer, your team, your family, and for yourself. The compounding benefits will show up as saved money and saved time, though will feel far greater.