Zeno's paradox - or why your website will never be right!
Stop worrying. Your website will never be right!
5th century BC Greek philosopher, Zeno of Elea, knew that all along.
The lesson is in his famous paradox of "Achilles and the Tortoise".
The ancient paradox
Achilles is in a footrace with a tortoise.
Being a good sport, Achilles gives the tortoise a head start of 100 metres at point A.
"Go!" shouts Zeno and off dashes Achilles. He soon reaches point A.
But, uh-oh, the tortoise has already moved on to point B. On rushes Achilles.
But again, when he arrives at point B, the tortoise has moved to point C.
When Achilles gets to point C, the tortoise is now at point D.
And on it goes.
Whenever Achilles arrives at a point the tortoise has been, it has already gone.
In short, he never catches up.
(In reality, Achilles would catch the tortoise, but as a thought experiment it is still intriguing and useful.)
The digital paradox
Now, let's update the paradox.
Substitute yourself (as a digital manager) for Achilles.
Substitute your users for the tortoise.
The point is that, no matter how hard you try, you will NEVER catch up with your users.
They will ALWAYS be some distance ahead of you—and probably a lot further than the tortoise from Achilles!
The reason is that every website is really just an educated guess.
You can never know your users' needs with 100% accuracy. There will always be a gap.
You only find out how big the gap is after you launch and begin to track engagement.
Any issues you find then need time to be fixed, which creates a window for user needs to change even further.
So, stop fretting.
Your website will never be right :)
All you can do is narrow the gap as best you can.