Try more stuff than the next guy

December 4, 2009 at 11:47 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

One of the ways I judge the competence of a startup is finding out how many experiments it can do per dollar. Here’s a good quote from Gary Hamel, I couldn’t agree more:

Yet to outpace change, every organization is going to have to master the art of rapid prototyping. Here the goal is to maximize the ratio of learning over investment — to find the sweet spot of demand for a new product, or perfect a nascent business more rapidly and inexpensively than your competitors. Listen to Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, on this point: “Our goal is to have more at bats per unit of time and money than anyone else.” Your goal should be the same.

A good book I read recently was “A Drunkard’s Walk”:
Drunkard's Walk

Here’s another good quote about viewing entrepeneurship as a “possibility system”:

If Randomness Rules then your only defense is the so-called “law of large numbers”—that is, success follows from tryin’ enough stuff so that the odds of doin’ something right tilt your way; in my speeches I declare that the only thing I’ve truly learned “for sure” in the last 40 years is “Try more stuff than the other guy”—there is no poetic license here, I mean it.

The key is is to avoid big mistakes – so you can live long enough to try more things.

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