"Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can."
It is frequently said in startup circles that an idea is worth exactly nothing: what really matters is the execution. We were, however, approached by an investor group that had only one the former ready. They came up with one business opportunity, one idea, that they thought could be interesting to investigate and build a company around.
Without taking sides in the idea-or-execution debate, we have seen it many times that startups with a great idea but without a solution for execution are indeed in trouble. Hence, we wanted to build something future proof. Instead of creating a prototype and releasing it into the wild, our approach was to establish a feedback machine. A methodology to create an initial product, and keep improving the offering as long as the startup finds product-market fit.
The building blocks for the feedback machine are simple:
The prototype was ready within a month, the project managers started to generate ideas, collect feedback and acquire clients. The feedback machine was grinding ideas for long months, until one day the startup started to show signs of reaching product-market fit. By the time one of the project managers was ready to take on the CEO hat. Since the more expensive research & development phase was already over, we could transfer the ongoing development and maintenance works to cheaper outsource partners.
With the established best practices and documentation already in place, finding partners and handing over the technology took less than a month. From start to finish, creating a brand new tech startup and putting it onto its on two feet, the complete journey took just about a year.
Project failure statistics are sobering. Big and large, almost one third of all digital projects are realised over budget, over time, or not at all leaving jobs and businesses at risk. We are experienced in stepping into digital projects at the 11th hour, to get technology back on track.
With 100 million new businesses created and 70 million shut down worldwide each year, buying and selling startups and their technology is common practice.
That doesn't make it any risk-free.
The real big data challenge is only human. We have to learn to ask the right questions, recognise patterns, make informed assumptions and predictions. Understanding what technology can and cannot offer is step number one.