In This Episode You’ll Learn:
- Why timing is the most important factor in the success of a business
- Start-ups shouldn’t focus on sticking to a plan
- How to figure out what people want
Building a Successful Start-Up
Simon has started over a dozen businesses. While there’s no formula for start-up success, Simon swears by one maxim: Timing will determine the success of your business.
Be honest about what the data is telling you about your business. Don’t rely too heavily on prior business experience when launching a start-up.
“It’s the Wild West and it’s kind of weird because experience only counts for so much in [the start-up] space.”
Plans vs. Planning
Simon stresses doing things right and not fast—and to not place too much emphasis on plans.
“Plans are irrelevant but planning is everything”
He says this is the most important mantra in making a business because plans are no match for the unpredictability of the future. Start-ups need flexibility to survive.
Right Beats Fast
One of the myths many start-ups fall subject to is that they have to be the first company to hit the market with their idea.
Simon says it’s better to take your time developing an idea or product well so you get it right at the time of release—that’s what Google and Apple did. If you’re too focused on releasing your product quickly, glitches get overlooked.
Simon insists a control group is the worst way to figure out what people want because nobody actually knows what they want until it’s in front of them. Rather, Simon opts for an anthropological approach.
Knowing what your customers need takes discipline. You’ve got to go out, observe people in their environment, and figure out what your customers really need.
Simon recommends The Design Sprint as a framework that can help start-ups understand what customers need and how a certain product fits the bill. He says it’s important to be able to draw helpful information from pre-made frameworks, but a start-up shouldn’t be bound to one.
“There’s no silver bullet system.”
Once a start-up knows what customers need and how their product addresses that need, success is a matter of timing.
“If you look at the data, timing is really the most important factor in the success of a business or a product. Team is second.”
With careful development of quality products, the right timing, and a dynamic team, your start-up will be well on its way to lasting success.