I’ve been trying to write about the lessons learned from the failure of my last company (albeit quite slowly) and I read a post this morning from Mike McDerment of FreshBooks that covers some similar topics.
His post is titled 7 ways I’ve almost killed FreshBooks and I can second every single point he makes. Luckily for FreshBooks, they’re still around and thriving.
I especially appreciated his first point – “Thinking we had to move faster than we did”
As entrepreneurs, we tend to immediately feel the pressure of getting our idea to market as quickly as possible. We have some paranoia (good perhaps?) and believe that another company will out-execute us and leave our company behind.
In the long run, it’s much more important to do things right as opposed to doing them as fast as possible. Obviously there’s a fine line here, but stepping back every once in a while to review before making that next move can be a good practice to follow.
A good idea is just that – an idea. It takes execution to build a great company and this is where many fail. Full execution of your strategy may take some time and there’s nothing wrong with that. Rushing forward as fast as possible is not always the best move.
With the new-found popularity of agile development and business processes (which I’ve been endorsing for many years now), I think some entrepreneurs are forgetting that an overall strategic plan is still important. You don’t necessarily need a full fledged, 200 page written business plan. But having a high level strategic plan will definitely enable you to stay on track and hopefully avoid some of the issues with feeling the need to take certain actions prematurely.