Iterating is a Life Skill

My wife and I are trying to sell our condo. It’s been on the market for three weeks and we’ve had three showings so far. On the first two showings we got the following (and only) feedback:

“Client wants something not facing a busy road”

Our condo is facing a fairly active road, it’s well traveled, but I would say it’s only really busy at rush hour and our condo sits far enough away we don’t pick up any significant road noise.

Also, a quick Google Map view of our address shows that we’re on the road, if that’s a problem, then why did we get the showings in the first place?


The solution suddenly occurred to us while we were discussing the feedback

Have the potential buyers come in through the back of the condo rather than the front

It makes perfect sense, by having buyers come in through the front, the road and traffic noise was making the first impression, not our condo. Buyers were being assaulted with road noise before even setting foot inside!

For the third showing, we cleaned up the garage and cleared off the patio and had buyers come into the kitchen (which looks great). The feedback from the buyer didn’t mention the road noise at all.

The art of iterating: making a small change, testing that change, then gathering feedback, is a powerful tool for technical projects but I think that was the first time it really dawned on me how powerful it was for day-to-day life.

The tricky part is of course measuring and recording results from your iterations. This can be especially difficult for life projects, although with the power of mobile devices and better instruments we’re closing in on measuring all kinds of things, especially our own bodies. It’s like having Dr. McCoy’s medical scanner in Star Trek:

Not an expert on Klingons, but I think we know how he died…

I’m curious if anyone has any similar anecdotes of using iteration in your life. Let me know in the comments!