Reading Time: ~ 3 min.
🛑 — And don’t forget your Daily #yenQUEST!
To infinity & community,
A bit more of a rant, but, some more color here:
I would get super-mad at more-experienced founders / startup ceos who told me that to be a success at “this game” requires an unbelievable amount of patience until I realized that they were right; I was just thinking about it entirely backwards.
Founders are naturally impatient; we want the future that we see today, not tomorrow. The problem is that we naively believe that we’ve figured out more than we actually have and the process of building is also the process of discovering more precisely the fundamentals.
Those being: 1. What problem are you actually solving, really? 2. Who are you solving that problem for, really? 3. What is your strategy for doing the first 2, really? It’s the “really” that gets us b/c founders lie to themselves really, really well. we’re experts. (ಥ⌣ಥ)
The point is this: Patience is required of ONESELF, not the environment or your execution or even the market necessarily — although all of these are important considerations. It’s going to take a lot more time for you to figure out the really-real answers to those 3 q’s.
Scheduling in time, religiously, to test your assumptions / hypotheses and to test-drive small mental experiments and conversations is an important part of actually building. “Building” is both the act of building the product and also mentally building it in your head.
Building anything meaningful takes a lot of time, thought, and a lot of raw materials and a lot of fuckups (“pivots” maybe, lol) along the way — every startup (that I’ve built) has pivoted, at least once! It’s a LONG journey, that’s for sure. Don’t give up.
I’ll emphasize the last part: Don’t. Give. Up.
No tradeoffs, ever:
Quality measures how far a product advances the customer. Scale measures how many people use it. For entrepreneurs, there’s no tradeoff between quality and scale. The job is to do both—not one or the other. If it can’t be done, you innovate.
Quality without scale is not entrepreneurship—it’s a tree falling in the forest with no one around. Scale without quality is also not entrepreneurship—it’s business as usual.
And it leaves businesses exposed to competitors who steal its customers (and, worse, employees). Anyone who attempts to serve a customer at a new level of quality and scale is an entrepreneur.
Anyone who does not, is not.
Building a comprehensive, working product at-scale is impossibly-hard to do; that’s why very few people try it and that’s why even fewer, still, succeed.
As a long-time metacreator I have struggled to find the right “balance” between speed, quality, and scale. The forces that challenge us to marry these three things has, historically, been impossible. But I don’t agree with that sentiment as much as I once did.
I believe there is a time and a place for larger, more robust and sophisticated products that hide the immense complexity right beneath the surface. This isn’t to necessarily obfuscate the value (or effort) but rather to expose the tension to the user in a real, transferable way.
Great products will often share the complexity in an open way; demanding feedback from the user. I think that’s what the metaverse will mostly be about; a never-ending conversation about what is working, what’s not, and how we continually attempt to find a middle-ground where we can enjoy the show.
Yup, I’m going to bring the
vlog back up; can’t wait! It’s been a long-time coming.