Updated: Mar 22, 2020
By Wayne Cavey from Motivate App
At my start up we have a pretty lean team with a tight budget. While we try to fail fast, we found these things to be essential to staying the course.
Communicate Communicate with everyone. Employees. Customers. Investors. All the time. Every day. On a few occasions we even tracked down people that bashed our product and offered them free stuff to talk to us. Weirdly enough we got some great insights that made our product better.
No friction The harder it is for a consumer to sign up, the less consumers you will have. No confirmation emails, sign up forms, etc. The easier the better.
However, those that spend 5 years working on a "perfect" product often find out that it was perfect.... but only for them.
MVP Have no fear of perfection, for you'll never reach it. Ever. Your product will never truly be ready or perfect. However, those that spend 5 years working on a "perfect" product often find out that it was perfect.... but only for them. You could've saved 4 years if you just tested it. Our app started off with 4 black and white audio tracks. No videos, no playlists, nothing. However, it got a few hundred downloads and 30 reviews with people giving feedback. That's why the team kept going. If it wasn't for that the product would've been scrapped ( or at lasted pivoted) a while ago.
SleepIf you want to "grind" all day you better get at least 8 hours or face inevitable burnout. Elon Musk once said that having a start up is like staring into the abyss and eating glass. That glass gets a lot sharper when you're running on no sleep. Trust me.
If Jim's aunt died, cat got sick, and he missed the deadline (all in the same week) because his internet was down, Jim has to go.
Don’t be greedy, but don't price too lo & always testIf your product is good and you price it cheap, people will buy. Then you can price upgrades, future products, and future services more expensive. Which goes along with the next rule. Hitting the sweet spot is nothing short of having a magic 8 ball, so come out with a price and adjust from there. However, just remember it's always easier to price higher and go down then price lower and go up.
Think fast, hire Slow If Jim's aunt died, cat got sick, and he missed the deadline (all in the same week) because his internet was down, Jim has to go. Things definitely come up, but when you hired someone and were super excited and then notice that you clearly got catfished, cut ties early. Some may argue you risk high turnover, but in my experience this helps a lot more than it hurts.
When people start new jobs they want to prove themselves and show what they're worth (at least ones that actually came there to work). If them trying is not apparent or they just don't have the skills you thought they did, it doesn't matter who's fault it is that they are there in the first place, it's your fault they are there now.