Start Up Blog

Why speed wins

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on April 17, 2009

In start up land the most important thing we can do is do things fast. It’s the opposite of the perfectionism we learn in graduate school and large corporations especially as it pertains to marketing.

Here’s why:


So the startup blog explanation of my above chart goes something like this:

No project, task or strategy is ever perfect. Even if we spend a large amount of time developing it. At best it will be around 90% of what we need or imagine. If we cut the available amount of time in half (which is this example is 6 weeks) we may be able to achieve 70% of the desired outcome. But what option 2 presents for us is the ability to learn and revise quickly. In fact we can launch another version (version 2.0) of said project for another 70% progression.

The net result is pretty simple – we’ll be a progression of 140 vs 90. Pretty simple. And in startup land the reality is we often don’t know how effective something will be until it is implemented, and from here the lessons will emerge. In addition it moves us up the learning curve and in all probability the next implementation will be far more effective than the first.

The other fact we have to consider is that speed is important for our customers. They like to see progression, even if it is less than perfect. They know things are improving and that we are making stuff better for them. It’s also far less confusing to deal with incremental consistent change than it is a total re-design. We also remove the risk of better ideas and methods putting a kibosh on doing anything at all and creating inertia.

And this is why in startup land, speed wins.

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2 Responses

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  1. onealbumaday said, on April 20, 2009 at 10:50 am

    hmmm, maybe… the maths can also work 0.7 x 0.7 = 0.49… a 70% improvement on something that was only 70% completed is opening yourself up to some accumulated gap.

    Your verbal expanation is much better…

  2. Steve Sammartino said, on April 20, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    It’s actually 70% + 70% which is 1.4 (140%) if you look closely….

    Semantics really – but we all get the point :-)

    Steve.


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