I’ve been reading the book “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries. It’s a brilliant book that describes how you can make a startup geared towards success.
One of the stories Eric tells in the book is when Intuit founder, Scott Cook found his team running seventy tests on the website per week! That’s around 500 tests on a two-and-a-half months.
But the brilliance in running these tests is that you are gearing your product development and marketing towards what resonates with people rather than what the company and management thinks will work.
When you have just one test to ship, you have no other choice but to stand by your test. You build, you ship, you defend. You are a politician – winning the management, company, the salespeople and even the customers to your cause.
In most cases, this won’t work and the product development team as well as the marketing will face a downward spiral. It entails a lot of planning, analysis and waste – which is a huge risk in and of itself.
When you have a lot of tests running (it doesn’t have to be seventy tests a week – it could be as low as two or three a week), then you get entrepreneurs. People who don’t have to stand by their idea because there’s a chance to build and ship every idea and then to analyze and study the data afterwards.
A company full of politicians and salespeople is a slow-moving company that kills brilliant ideas before they even breathe their first breath of air. It is a toxic, vicious cycle that stifles most companies today.
A company full of entrepreneurs – now that’s something. Innovation abounds and it is managed and directed by real data gathered from real customers. That’s where we want to be.
That’s where all companies should want to be.
And that’s exactly what I’m learning to build right now.