The founding ideas behind startups rarely survive the first few years of the business’s inception. They are even less likely to drive the company to their success. Some of the greatest companies have been formed out of pivots, think Slack, Instagram, Shopify and many more. The insights for these unique pivots only surfaced when the respective companies started operating, testing their assumptions and interacting with their client base.
Your original idea might be good, great, even life-changing; but there are undoubtedly many assumptions you’ve made that might not stand the proof of time and testing. So, it’s vital that you start testing things from the get-go and validate bottlenecks in your business. The only way to do this, well, it’s just to do it! Stop thinking and start acting!
I’ve personally seen so many fail at this. They’ve been stuck in internal loops of ideation and business plan creation without ever taking the time to put their work into the hand of clients to receive real feedback. It’s hard to break out of that internal loop of planning, dreaming and designing. These are the rosy times: where everything seems possible, and no one can stop you. But you are not starting a business to daydream, you are starting to make an impact and a profit.
You need to have a bias for action. This means that you build quickly, put together some MVPs and take on technical debt in exchange of getting quick customer validation or feedback. This is when egos chatter, but it needs to be done early on.
Testing things out and having a bias for action will also drastically accelerate the business and allow you to fail cheaper and quicker. In the end, you’ll be able to reach the “truth”, and that elusive Product market fit much faster.
This “go-getter attitude” transcends business and entrepreneurship. It can drastically improve your academics and careers. You might be stuck planning out an essay and it simply doesn’t seem to be going anywhere… well just start writing it and ideas will start flowing. You’ll be able to change things around after if you desire to. The same thing applies to careers, take the initiative to meet the correct people, apply for the jobs you like, and once you have them get stuff done!
“A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed at some indefinite time in the future.” ― George S. Patton Jr
You should get into this habit of reducing your development cycles’ length and increase the rate at which test. It might be more challenging to adopt this agile strategy later on, as business processes that favour long development cycles will have cemented themselves into the company. It’s harder to unlearn a bad habit than learn a good one.
As a startup, your main advantage is how fast you can move, you are the David vs the Goliaths of the corporate world. Don’t ever forget that!
- Arthur Zargaryan, Founder of Deepfinity. They specialise in internal parcel tracking software and mailroom management software.