It put up a merciless fight, but in the end my iPhone was never much of a match for an accident-prone klutz. While lamenting over my loss and trying to figure out how I was going to wake up on time without an alarm, a thought came to me. Does something still have value when it’s broken? To me, my Smartphone is now a valueless brick. But to someone else, the phone might still have significant value. This person is probably more tech savvy than me. This person also probably knows how to salvage the remaining undamaged parts and sell them online to gain value.

But what happens when something less tangible breaks? It could be a process or even a client project. Do you just throw it out and buy a new project? Sometimes we have no choice but to refine our process and carry on with a project. These refinements are usually what makes it so valuable. I vie for clarity through another’s point of view. Tap into whatever resources you have to discover value and reach clarity. I’m fortunate enough to work with some very smart people from many different backgrounds. Anytime a project seems to have broken, there is usually someone within earshot to help. When it comes SEO, I usually break into other resources like blogs, forums, Twitter, etc. Occasionally, I even pick up the phone.

More importantly, reflect on the project after it’s complete. How could you have done things differently? Is there anything you can improve on next time? This is usually the most critical phase and where I always learn the most. Don’t forget to apply what you’ve learned to your next project and with any luck you can prevent things from breaking again. As for me, lesson learned. I’m off to LifeProof my future iPhone.

Do you throw things away when they break? How do you find value in something that’s seemingly broken?