Don’t Wait Until It’s Perfect
In 2008 Andrew Mason was working on a community website called The Point. He wanted to give people the ability to make change occur through collective action. To prove the power of site Mason organised an offer from the pizza restaurant in the building they worked in.
He quickly put together a WordPress site and posted the offer. When someone purchased the deal they had to manually email the voucher to the purchaser.
He called the site Groupon.
Within 2 years Groupon had become the fastest growing company in history with 1600 employees and over $1 billion in sales.
If Mason had waited to build the perfect daily deal platform then his well funded competition would have overtaken him.
I should know. I worked for the competition.
When Shane Bradley saw the early success of Groupon he immediately shifted his development team’s focus to building GrabOne. It was done in a few weeks, launched and went on to define a new business category in New Zealand. No one looked back.
What are you waiting for?
Entrepreneur has become a cool word. Movies like ‘The Social Network’ and star founders have propelled entrepreneurs into the public domain and made anyone with an idea an entrepreneur.
But to become an entrepreneur you have to have an idea AND execute it.
In my work with large clients, I’ve seen way too many people pitch overvalued ideas to large businesses. They want someone else to take the risk out of executing it by using their money and resources as they think they need them to make them successful.
Waiting for the perfect conditions means these ideas are unlikely to gain momentum.
If they just started, proved value, then pitched they would have a chance.
Dan Norris sold his web design business then spent a year developing an analytics dashboard. The problem was nobody wanted to pay for it.
Dan was on the verge of taking a job when he started WPcurve, a WordPress support service, in just 7 days. In the beginning Dan had to answer any customer enquiries 24 hours a day. As he took on paying customers he hired developers. Now the business has over $70k in monthly recurring revenue.
Dan has written a book about his journey.
If you’re even slightly thinking of starting something I highly recommend you pick up or download a copy. It may even be better than my book…
For The Intrapreneurs
The pressure to keep business as usual means that the decisions you can make as an employee need to be different than those of an entrepreneur.
That’s not an excuse to do nothing.
In marketing or growth roles you need to be pushing all the time.
I used to say to my team at GrabOne; in marketing it’s not called failure, it’s called testing.
You will make mistakes but they are very rarely terminal.
Test the new email template, test the new onboarding process, run A/B tests – just test something.
If you are doing your core job well and you are always pushing the margins for more, it will do wonders for your career.
At this stage I would normally offer you a download or a guide to help. This time I just want you to do something you have been thinking about for a while. The idea that won’t go away.
It’s probably not perfect but you should definitely do it.