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Try, fail fast and try again

Making it a habit within your business

Ollie Maitland Jun 28, 2016

As the co-founder of a growing business, I look to other entrepreneurs for tips and advice on running a successful business.  One piece of advice that really resonated with me has to do with speed.  How quickly are we getting things done within the business?

Try, fail fast and try again


My co-founder, Ollie, is a great Product Director at Capitalise and has experience driving tech teams within other businesses.  Ollie loves speed!  If I had a Pound for every time he used the word, "velocity", the company would be self-funding.  Ollie is a big advocate of the lean methodolgy - try, fail fast and try again.


He iterates all the time, inching our product forward.  He is relentless on achieving maximum capacity utilisation out of his team, whilst not wasting a drop of resource.  Even our product releases are in a rush. Our two weekly 'sprints' are broken down into prep, delivery and execution for demo on the tenth day to the rest of the team.


It has become the norm for tech teams to work like this, but can all teams work like this?  On the commercial side of Capitalise.com (my side), I am trying to adopt these methodologies but these are vastly different to my time on the Goldman Sachs trading floor, being pulled from one newsworthy event to the next.

80% of effect comes from 20% of the cause


Pareto's law suggests that 80% of effect comes from 20% of the cause.  If that's the case, why do we all try to work towards a perfect outcome? When you put that into context, the concept of working with a lean methodology and with velocity becomes obvious.


One of my favourite articles on this subject was written by Dave Girouard, who is CEO of a company called Upstart and former lead on a $1bio Google business.  In his article, Dave says, "There's not always a stark tradeoff between something done fast and something done well.  Don't let you or your organisation use that as a false shield or excuse to lose momentum.  The moment you do, you lose your competitive advantage."  


I now see why speed needs to become a habit throughout the entire organisation and not just the product function.


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