Starting crappy might be a strange concept to think about, especially at the turn of a new year, but actually I think that this is a really important thing to think about.
Why Would You Do Something Poorly?
It seems counter-intuitive to talk about doing business effectively and then to be talking about the idea of starting something in a poor way.
Actually, the concept is interesting and I think it’s really important to think about.
Guy Kawasaki was the Chief Evangelist for Apple in the late 80’s and early 90’s and played his role in Apple becoming what it is today. He’s an excellent speaker and he’s written a book called ‘The Art of the Start’, where he sums up all of his ideas on starting anything, from a business, social enterprise or charity.
He came up with the concept of ‘starting crappy’.
What Does It Mean?
It basically means to just get going with a concept.
If you look at what a lot of these big technology companies and successful organisations do, they get something to market as quickly as possible.
You might see on a lot of software applications, you’ll have a version 1, version 1.1, 1.2, etc.
They are getting a minimal viable product of whatever it is and they test it in the marketplace.
How Do You Make It Work For You?
If you want to create a new way of packaging your service, get a minimal viable product and get it to market as quickly as possible.
The idea of perfection is a complete lie, it doesn’t exist. Nothing is perfect.
Rather than getting caught up in trying to make the product perfect, the more frustrated you and your team become, and the less time you spend in the marketplace getting feedback about your product or idea.
How I’ve Used This Concept
This has brought me to a place where I get an idea or concept down on paper and I get it out into the marketplace as quickly as possible.
If I spend too much time thinking about and planning what I’m going to do, the day has passed me by and I haven’t actually produced anything, whether that’s a video or a blog post, etc.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking about, planning and talking about a product you want to create for months, but you still have no product?
Or it might be a book you’ve been wanting to write and it’s been in the planning stage for 18 months…
Whether it’s a book, a product or a service, the concept of starting crappy means that you get what is the most stripped down, basic version of what it is that you want to do, go out into the marketplace and find a customer.
Derek Sivers also talks a lot about getting a product to market, testing and getting feedback.
Seth Godin also talks about this concept.
When people are thinking about business, people come up with these huge ideas, which are great, but the reality is to try and get something on the ground as quickly as possible.
Airbnb started with a guy living in a flat, he needed to get some more money so he started renting out mattress space. Then it grew to people renting out their houses. The reality is he wouldn’t have got any customers if he’d started with renting out houses because the concept was so new and without demand, there’s no requirement for supply.
He had to build his system from the bottom up.
These ‘overnight successes’ all started as something humble and simple.
The people who talk about doing the perfect thing never get around to it.
Rather than trying to be perfect, start crappy.