Engine obsessed: Why optimizing the wrong assets will cost you time and money


a 3-minute read

As business owners, we often feel the need to innovate, to create something novel or unique, and forge a new path into unknown lands. And while it’s important for every business to uncover its own Unique Selling Proposition – that doesn’t mean you need to constantly focus on building new engines to drive your business forward.

Sometimes it’s better to focus on the wings.

Taking to the Skies

This story might seem disconnected from modern-day marketing techniques at first but just bear with me.

In 1903, there was a race to invent the world’s first aeroplane. Mankind wanted to take to the skies, and everyone was vying for the opportunity to be the one to take them there.

While everyone was trying to figure out how to create this first flying plane, they became obsessed with the engine. Engineers began building bigger and bigger engines, strapping them onto plane prototypes, and expecting them to soar. But unfortunately, none of these designs worked.

The brightest minds in the world were forgetting one crucial component: the aerodynamics of the wings. Although their work at the time resulted in some of the most powerful engines the world had ever seen, it got them no closer to a working plane.

People were beginning to think this was hopeless. Billionaires were sinking more and more resources into efforts that went nowhere. And why? Because they were focused on the wrong thing.

The Wright brothers took a completely different approach – and it’s their names that we remember today.

While the whole world was focused on engines, the Wright brothers were obsessed with the form of the plane itself and its aerodynamics. They looked beyond the engine and first concentrated on creating a plane that could glide without any engine at all.

Once they had lift-off, they strapped an engine to their aeroplane and voila! The world’s first playing aeroplane was invented.

Learning From the Past

Now, how might this apply today? What engines are people obsessed with today? What crucial component might they be missing? I want you to really pause for a moment and let this next point sink in.

I believe that history always repeats itself. Today, we are repeating the history of the Engine Obsession. Most businesses are so obsessed with the newest shortcuts, fad tactics, and overnight hacks, that they completely ignore something vital. They forget to spend time understanding and optimizing the systems that actually enable successful flight.

Year after year, businesses invest more in sales and marketing than ever before. They’re investing in marketing strategies like SEO, webinars, podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, Facebook – the list goes on. At the end of the day, all of this equates to building powerful engines without the basic form to ever get off the ground.

Instead, businesses need to pivot and go deeper with their business. Using data to finetune your existing infrastructure will help you to understand the bigger picture of your business. Put your money towards optimizing what you already have and make sure you have a strong foundation for moving forward. Only once you have the data to truly understand what will lead to exponential business growth will you know where to best place your resources.

At the end of the day, however, we must remember: you can strap the greatest engine in the world to a plane without wings, and you and I both know that it will never take flight.

Don’t let your business be a powerful machine that never does what it’s meant to do. Equip your business with the tools it needs to take to the skies and your name will be the one remember in years to come.

Some Final Thoughts

Now, it’s all well and good to know what you need to do – but where to get started? If you’re ready to put some work into the foundations but don’t know how to take the first step, look no further.

My years of experience in helping businesses reach exponential growth helped me build the IIEA framework: Insight, Ideation, Experimentation, Analysis. It’s the perfect place to start off with as a guide for experimenting and optimizing your business processes.

For more individualized advice, my team at Conversion Advocates and I are always ready to help you and your business in any way we can. Book a consultation today to get started.

Facebook Twitter Linkedin

Get in touch & get started Today on your 90-day CRO journey

Here’s what you will get from your free CRO strategy call:
  • 90 Day Growth Plan focused on increasing revenue
  • Calculate projected ROI from improving your CRO
  • Walk through our proven CRO process and how to apply it in your business
  • Learn what specific research methods will drive insights and winning tests
  • Gain an understanding of testing velocity for your site
  • Get answers to any questions around CRO or growth strategy

Book your CRO strategy call


Step 1 of 4