If it’s not a hit, switch!
I’ am currently listening to an entrepreneurship video from Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby ($22 Mio. exit). The bottom line messages of his fifth lesson “If it’s not a hit, switch!” are:
- Do something that people are really into (people want to give you their money => feels effortless)
- If people aren’t loving what you’re doing, STOP! Don’t persist. Don’t push it. Referring to a Warren Buffet quote: “We don’t swing unless it’s a clear home run!”
- => Success comes from persistenly improving and inventing, NOT persistently pushing what’s not working.
That’s a very valid point of view regarding the continuous improvement and delivery approach. However, the art is to find the right point in time to decide when to stop in case of a somewhat below-average start. Stopping to early can also be a big mistake. Quite a couple of startups did face a quite subdued growth intitially and took significantly off just a few months / quartes later. E.g. Wooga’s currently very successful game Monsterworld took quite some time (several months) to get a significant number of MAUs (monthly active users). Initially they had “only” 300.000 MAUs and reached 1.2MM MAUs (monthly active users) just four months later when they reached an ideal “product-market fit”. The Lean Startup methodology is – for certain industries at least – probably the best methodology to learn about a potentially unmet customer need in the shortest amount of time possible and be in a position to iterativley shape the product to product-market-fit after problem-solution-fit.
In case you are interested in the subject of “The Lean Startup” methodology and would like to see an additional academic perspective on it, feel free to check out my Executive MBA Master Thesis with an A+ rating and praise from my renowned thesis advisor Anne Huff and Harvard Business School entrepreneurship professor Tom Eisenmann. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only completed and published dissertation regarding this subject in specific .