Stack the bricks with "OK Moments" rather than bet on "Aha moments"


There is a lot of fluff in Entrepreneurship and Product Management which is passed around as magical silver bullets. One of which I dislike is the "Aha Moment."

A friend added me into a Twitter thread, which trigged a long time rant I had on it.

A product is a Stack of things.

The Aha Moment is supposed to be the moment when a user realizes the value of your product. The problem lies in the fact that rarely does a product just do one thing. Products are a "Stack" of features, ideologies, business, and growth plans and services. Users may ignore deficiencies in multiple parts of the stack for surfeits in the other parts. How many times have you heard someone say, I use the product because the support is great?

Sometimes it is not a "feature", rather those that don't exist in the product like great pricing, a just ideology, or simply the location of the team running the product that plays into whether the product will be used. For example, I decided to pay for Hey because of their ideology, I paid for Thread Reader to support indie devs and great service. I am playing around with Hostomy because it is a service recommended by a friend and is insanely cheap.

Aha moments do exist, but they are hard to achieve and harder to retain as the "Aha Moment" becomes the new normal. Stories for Snapchat might have been one, but today, it is the new Normal, or for some, a passing fad.

OK Moments

A better way to think of Great Products is using "OK Moments". OK moments are basically moments where the users agree with some part of your product, and the best part is they compound.

Here are examples of OK moments

  • OK, A friend Referred Product X to me
  • OK, Product X can do this
  • OK, I an afford product X
  • OK, Even my good friend uses product X
  • OK, Product X will handle Migration
  • OK, Product Y is being forced into the organization
  • OK, Product Y has this blocker for me, which Product X does not.
  • OK, Product X has a free trial, let me use it.
  • OK, Product X is a lifetime purchase rather than a monthly subscription
  • OK, Product X won an award from Apple, might be good.
  • OK, Product X supports the same causes as I do

Each OK moment is either a problem being solved or a spotlight being cast on the product. The Aha moment at the end of the day is a threshold of OK moments, a threshold that is different for different people.

Start Stacking

If you are building a product, it is time to stack the OK Product bricks, after all, each innovation we know stands on a stack of others. A point Matt Ridley makes in his book, How Innovation Works.

OK Moments are no different, so start stacking OK moments across each point of interaction you have with your users to get to the point where everyone else thinks you have figured out your Aha Moment.