A common statement you hear from investors in online businesses is, “Perfect is the enemy of the good.”
Sounds counter-intuitive right? Perfection is the key to pleasing customers isn’t it?
Admittedly, this involves a tricky concept: yes quality matters, but what the investors mean is two things:
- Being first to market ahead of competitors, or – in the same regard – being first to get “better” to market, is evern more important that quality in and of itself.
- Many entrepreneurs are perfectionists. They tend to take what they put out in the marketplace personally – as a personal reflection on them. Problem is, in their attempts to make things perfect, they take too long to get their offerings to market. Which lets competitors beat them to market. And it delays how fast the business can get to break-even, then profitability.
So, what the investors are saying is, they want the companies in which they’ve invested to “learn fast” by “failing fast.”
They want their companies to get what they call the “minimal viable product/service” to market quickly. Faster than the competition. For two reasons:
- The most important reason is that by putting the product/service out there in front of prospects and customers, they can get feedback on how to make it better sooner than later. And, as you’ve learned, prospects’ and customers’ opinions are the only ones that matter in the end. This approach allows the business to implement what’s called “fast learning cycles”.
That means: a) get it “out there”, b) learn fast based on feedback, c) make it better, d) get it “out there”, e) learn fast based on feedback, f) make it better, g) get it “out there” and so on.
In the online world – where everything is moving so fast, and innovation and copying others is so prevalent – that’s what works best.
So, given a choice between spending time trying to perfect something versus getting the “minimum viable version” of it out there and start learning quickly, the latter is preferred by far!
May the wind always be at your back!
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