This is by far not your typical “Hello World” blog post.
In my relatively short time in this planet, I have got to run many blogs, websites, businesses, and business ventures. Some were a success, but many more were a complete failure and/or huge disaster. As each experience tend to build upon the previous one(s), I started to notice some patterns. Let’s call them, “Business Patterns”. These patterns aren’t strictly business-oriented, they can be applied to many other settings : relationships, work, product launches, …. but let’s stick to business and blogging.
Humans are result oriented.
We mesure success by results. Actually, it’s not. Success could be something much deeper than tangible results; For instance, imagine you’re a big company who just hired a superstar Software Engineer who you think is going to rock you backend and lift heavy server loads using clever algorithms and whatnot …
The thing is, this superstart often will not deliver in a timely.
And you would obviously fire someone who does not deliver, right ?
The catch is, that superstart you just recruited probably needed more time to readjust to the environnement, tools you use, new programming langages he has to use, new team members, heck, maybe even the weather.
So, judging someone on delivered results (who you might you think talented, and who has already proven his results elsewhere), is quite bad. Delivered results could be MVPs, modules, code refactoring, a few pushed lines of code, or learning and readjusting.
We are impatient.
When I said that humans are result oriented, I actually meant they’re “quick result oriented”. We tend to often move quickly and less reliably. That might be good in some cases, but guess what ? God (if you’re a believer) created the universe in six days, and evolution theory states that Humans needed millions of years to evolve from chimps.
Give yourself some rest and be patient. Only a nanoportion of businesses boom in a record time. You’re most probably not one of them (I said, probably).
Measure. Measure. Bad measure is bad.
You’ve just launched your app, you embed the Google Analytics code, and you wait.
It has been 30 days and you’ve had a regular 30 pageviews a day. Or less. You think that it’s very low and slow and insufficient.
You can’t actually measure how good or bad a product is doing until it has reached a certain degree of maturity. Remember when Instagram launched ? It was used by less people than what you might think. Then Bieber installed it on his iPhone. The rest is history.
Measuring how your business/blog/product/whatever is behaving is counterproductive in the early stages of your product launches. You have to be as patient as organic adoption goes, or wait for a miracle early adopter who’s gonna show your product to the world.
Trust me; one of the two above scenarios happen if you one of the patient few. The 1%.
We lack perseverance.
So the product launch happened 4 moths ago. And you’re still having that 30 visitors a day.
Common sense dictates that you should call it a failure/lesson learned/whatever consolation you invent/.. and move on to the next thing.
Wait for it …
You just haven’t put much effort into it. You thought you did, but you didn’t. You didn’t push yourself far enough.
There might be some exceptions though. Say, you launched a Facebook or Youtube copycat (really, dude?) and you intend to make out of it the next big thing. Good luck with that – and if you succeed you might as well play the lottery in 13 different countries – you chances are most obviously next to nothing.
Matter of fact is that, if you think (yes, yourself – no external feedback needed) that your business/blog has even the slightest chance of making some change, don’t back down. History suggests that those who tend to back down in business fail often, but not safe.
Not enough Syndrome.
You went to WordPress.org, downloaded the zip, installed it via FTP, [blah blah], then you launched your blog.
You then wait for the perfect idea. The perfect article. Something that would stand out.
You find it. You start writing, but then your first blog post takes 3 weeks to be in shape.
In the business world, we have what we call the “MVP” , Minimun Viable Product, -I’ll talk about this later on in depth- which is, basically, what you would show to the world while providing them insight of what would the very basic version of your product would be.
In a fashion blog context, that would be a blog post talking about “how to distinguish fake Nike shoes from real ones”. Just saying.
The Startup Trap.
In a startup world, we tend to focus on the product, forget about the business side of things, and take things slightly.
A startup (lookup the definition on Wikipedia) is like any other business. It should have resources, revenue streams, expenses, …
The mistake that most startupppers make is think that their startup is a “business experiment” that should tend to failure (if repeated n-times).
Actually, if you, a startupper, or a blogger, want to have a greater (much greater) chance of success, you should take your business seriously. You might have an alternative revenue stream, but that certainly won’t last forever.
The word “startup” etymologically is a good catchy word that most often goes in harmony with Innovation, Productivity, Small teams and Big results, shitloads of investor money, billion dollar acquisitions, and whatnot. Try not to overuse it.
In the end …
If you’ve arrived here, thank you. Try to “socialize with me” via Twitter/Facebook/whatever. I’m a cool dude.
What one might extract from this first post is, the startup world is like any business world. Except that the startupper should be smarter than a traditional business man.
In the past 10 years, there have been much more companies created that in the entire human existence. And much more failures too.
The good news is, there have been 1000x as much millionaires as ten years before.
You might be one. You just have to be, the Man.
Good luck !