Why haven't I written in a long time?

A long overdue escape from Thoughtland

Once upon a time, you saw a box on my website and put your email address in it. Presumably, you expected to get my weekly newsletter about evidence-based product design and business experimentation.

And I was delighted when I got an email telling me that you'd signed up. I love the idea of having conversations over email with people like you. Email remains one of the oldest — and best — things about the Internet.

So why haven't I sent you anything recently?

I could make excuses but the answer is this: plain, simple fear. I got scared of my list.

At first, I started hesitating longer before hitting send. Then I let my unsent draft emails pile up. Then months went by and I let the "is it good enough to send" bar get too high. Maybe I was overthinking it? (I was definitely overthinking it.)

To make matters worse, I saw sign ups coming in from people like you, whose opinion I care about. I don't want you to think I'm some kind of inbox clown (or a wannabe "thought leader" – yuck).

I'll bet some of this sounds familiar to you too. What if you don't like it? What if you don't want it anymore? What if I'm wrong? (Overthinking again ...)

But if there's one thing I've learned about design, writing, business, anything really – it's that you need to test your ideas against reality as fast as you can.

If you don't test, you get lost in "Thoughtland" (hat tip to Alberto Savoia for that term).

In Thoughtland, it's safe and warm and comfortable. In Thoughtland, your ideas are protected from that nasty, spiky real world.

But the longer you stay in Thoughtland, the farther away from reality you get. And the farther away from reality you get, the more crushing the inevitable disappointment when reality finally bites (with its nasty sharp pointy teeth).

And that's when the fear grips you.

This is why I push the teams I work with to test early and often.

So that's what I'm pushing myself to do. I'm committing to actually sending something out to you weekly for the next 3 months. I've got some ideas I'd like to share, and I hope you find them interesting too. I look forward to hearing your thoughts back.

– Tom

P.S. if you can't remember who I am, or you don't want to read any more emails about product design, research or experimentation, then please do unsubscribe – no hard feelings.