The problem is that we spend a lot of time thinking and planning about things. We are always waiting for the right moment when we would be completely prepared. Say what? That day never comes.
You will never have the perfect start. You need to start it imperfectly. Learn from the mistakes and then build upon them. Planning does not work. I have worked in the planning department for eight years & have seen all the plans flushing down the toilet. It simply doesn’t work. What works is execution and learning on the way. So what we should be doing instead is executing.
Don’t spend too much time on planning
I have seen aspiring entrepreneurs fall into this trap time and again. They plan a lot. The more they plan the more discouraged they get. The more time they waste.
The market doesn’t need your planning. It needs your product. So instead of wasting your time on planning, why not build a MVP (Minimum Viable Product) first.
Building an MVP first will help you get feedback from customers and based on them you can make improvements on your product.
Otherwise all your hardwork will be based on your own assumptions. With all the hardwork, time and money spend on a product it will be very hard to bear when the customer doesn’t want it.
So, it would be wiser to fail earlier instead, so that you can work on those parts of the product that would make it successful.
Excessive planning is actually a time killer
I am not against basic planning. But there is a thin line between basic planning and procrastinating for the fear of failure.
Most people fear failing. Hence, they want a perfect start. And, to make a perfect start they depend on the perfect plan. And, we all know that there is nothing like a perfect plan.
No success ever came without testing. And to test you need to execute. And after all there is this first mover advantage.
Suppose you have an awesome idea. But you spend one year planning to make the perfect start. However, on the other hand, someone out there builds a product on a similar idea immediately. This someone made an imperfect start and within a period of one year has captured a lot of market share. How do you plan to compete with this guy who is now equipped with immense knowledge about customers’ tastes & the ins and outs of business?
In fact, by starting late you have already lost the lion’s share.
Have the courage to fail early
You have this idea about an awesome product. But you are scared of building and launching it, because you are not sure whether people would like it or not.
Let me tell you one thing – There will always be some people who will not like your product no matter how useful or cool you make it.
Believe it or not, there are people who think that Google is not a good search engine & they prefer to use other search engines. They have their own reasons but the fact is that different people have different tastes.
So, you simply can’t please everyone.
Now coming to those who would like your product. In this case I would tell you one thing – If your support is awesome people wouldn’t mind the initial drawbacks in your product.
So, you need to build a product first and then provide an awesome support for it. In this way you will be able to learn about the areas where improvements are required and hence work on them. Apart from this you will develop a good reputation because customer support matters a lot to people.
What’s imperfect in your eyes is actually good in your customer’s eyes
You wanted to build an awesome product, but the product you made did not have all the features you wanted in it. Hence you might be thinking that the people wouldn’t like it. But that’s not true.
You have been living the idea of your perfect product for a very long time. However your customers were not living it. Your expectations are too much from your baby, but that’s not the case with your customers. For them, it might be just good enough. And any improvements you make on it will be bonus for the customer.
However I would suggest one important thing here : While promoting your product don’t say about those benefits that your product doesn’t deliver. This will backfire.
This happens with movies whose promotions make them look awesome. However when the movie is released, it comes out to be a dud. But that’s good for movies. Because, the director can’t remake the movie and present it to the audience.
However, that’s not your limitation. You can make improvements to your product. So there is no reason to spread advertising lies about your product. Just say what your product does and how it will benefit the customers.
Once you get a small customer base, get feedback from them and improve upon your product. And once your make the necessary improvements, inform your customers that you have made the necessary improvements (This may not be possible if this is a physical product).
Waiting for the perfect time is a sign of weakness. Overplanning is lack of wisdom. Acting fast is all about entrepreneurship.
Act fast. Win the lion’s share and build upon your product making it the best out there. That’s how awesome products are made.