2 min read — Published 7 months ago

Don't love your product: How to increase your speed of experimentation as a B2B startup

How fast you iterate through potential solutions of a problem largely determines how fast your product evolves. Most founders find it uncomfortable. Here's how to do this in a balanced way.

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In fact, you should hate it.

It took James Dyson 5127 tries in 15 years before he finished developing the bagless vacuum we all love today.

Iteration is the speed at which you can build, put out, and collect feedback on a particular idea for your product. The faster the speed, the faster your product evolves.

If you deeply love what you create, you will never be able to see it change. Nobody wants to trade in their baby for a new one, no matter how much they cry at night.

Your product is not your baby. You should not fall in love with what you're building. Fall in love with the end result instead - when you finally help someone make their first sale, send that first email, or 2x their productivity like they always wanted to be able to do.

In the early days, big picture experiments have an outsized impact compared to smaller ones. Changing the color of a button is not a big enough change. Switching from being a standalone app to a marketplace instead is. In fact, it very much could yield outstanding results.

Here's the honest truth though: Not all iterations will yield favorable results. Most will fail terribly.

"I have not failed 10,000 times—I’ve successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work." - Thomas Edison famously said when he was working on creating the light bulb.

Your job is to understand that the first attempt is often not the best attempt. Exhausting them all is the best way to arrive at the most optimal one.

As a technical founder of a software product, you should be open to:

  1. Brainstorming multiple solutions to the same problem in your product
  2. Ripping out large parts of your codebase and re-implementing a feature
  3. Writing new code knowing knowing it will need to change in the short term

Here's an example of what a potential experiment might look like for a writing SaaS app that wants users to be able to publish their first piece fast. You could:

  1. Give them a blank space to write in themselves
  2. You write it for them
  3. Have an AI write it for them
  4. Hire a human writer in the backend to service the work

The end result of all of these is the user has something ready to publish on Day 1 which is exactly what they want to do. They are happy, they can't wait to tell their friends and family. They want to send you a thank you for helping them achieve this.

That feeling right there is what you should fall in love with instead.


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