Make Cheap Mistakes

One of the most common conversations we have with prospective clients is about risk. Lots of people come to us with ideas they want to build into companies or products. Some of them are really good ideas. All of them have risk.

What most people don’t realize is while they have a very clear vision of how things will work and what the product or service they want to build will look like, they are working from a very limited perspective. It’s really easy to conjure up an idea and think about exactly how it will work in the real world. There’s only one problem. The real world.

No plan survives first contact with real customers.

Steve Blank

That’s why we recommend research or a Discovery Session as the first step to any project. The worst time to make big decisions is when you have the least information. The beginning of a project is when you have the least information, so don’t make big decisions when you first start!

The more knowledge you gain the less risk you face.

project-risk-chart

By taking the time to identify your target market and ask them questions, you help mitigate the risk of making bad choices. This research or discovery phase is the perfect time to ask dumb questions, make mistakes, screw things up. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to correct a strategic issue, fix an interface problem, or rewrite your marketing message before you launch. Forge ahead with what you think is a great idea and you might be following your ideas off the Iriduim cliff.

Take the time to do some research and discovery and you’ll reap the rewards . Or as the wise old carpenter says, “measure twice, cut once”.