Launching a Startup? Fail Fast and Adapt.

You’ve got a brilliant idea for a startup and you just purchased a trendy domain name. Maybe your company sounds something like this:

“ Making salsa more accessible using blockchain technology.”

Cool. So it’s pretty much official that you’ve just started your company. Now what? Prepare yourself for failure. Lots of it.

Reality Sets In

Welcome to the reality of entrepreneurship. Time to start testing ideas. The sooner you test your ideas is the sooner you fail. This is good because the quicker you fail the less money you have to spend failing.

Just because all your friends said it “is a really cool idea” doesn’t mean that anyone would actually buy it. Your friend might even say: “I would totally buy that!”. Now, genuinely offer to sell your product to them right then and there. Are they still interested? Are they ready to hand over their money to you?

Minimum Viable Product

How do you test your ideas? You can do this with a minimum viable product. The truth is, you don’t want to invest all your money into developing a product that no-one wants. A minimum viable product is a foundation that you can build upon. If you can sell a stripped-down, basic version of your product, then you begin to grow the business.

Sell It Before You Build It

This is even better then a minimum viable product. Wanna sell a book that you’re not sure people will want to read? Try pitching the book to people. Write articles about the topics in your book. Add a link to an email list for people interested in your book. Are people signing up? Then write the book! Has no-one signed up? Then don’t write the book. If you find yourself not writing your book, it’s time to adjust.

Fail, Adjust, Repeat

This is a rocky road, but it’s time to fail. Every time you fail, analyze the failure and adjust your plan. Execute a new plan. This is the process of refining your idea. All of a sudden something will catch. Keep going with this process and continue to refine your idea. Try to spend as little money as possible during this phase.

People will tell you to not give up. This is true, however, it’s important to understand that not everything works. Sticking with one bad idea that doesn’t work will hold you back. Changing our approach is a powerful technique we can use. Give up on the little things that are holding you back, but don’t give up on everything. Keep trying and eventually, you’ll discover something that works.