You’ll know the phrase “measure twice cut once”, but I’m grateful to my friend Ailish from Sidekick Studio for pointing out to me that it has an impact when it comes to product validation.

(And it’s fine, she’s letting me steal this.)

This phrase has actually been around for hundreds of years, and has its origins in teaching apprentices how to do – for example – carpentry. What you’re actually telling the young padawan to do is “slow down”.

It’s not that you’re trying to validate the measurement is right – you can measure twice really quickly, like you can spam though hundreds of bits of work at top speed measure them all accurately, twice per timber.

In terms of product validation, the premise of “measure twice cut once” is to remind the listener to consider whether they are absolutely sure of what they’re doing, because waste could ensue from a mistake.

The way you do that is to lean into validation on the premise that your first “measure”, i.e. that first assumption you’re making going into this may be wrong, and a second measure might save you the big bucks.