Behind the scenes #11 | Smoke and mirrors





Obsessions can be cute, like millions of unicorns being painted by little girls all over the world 😉 And yet they most often lead to destruction which can be difficult to undo. The search for perfection is a unique sort of obsession – on the one hand, perfectionism is a quality sought after in business, increasing the likelihood of projects being tweaked to the optimum. On the other hand, in extreme cases this can lead to paralysis and a sense of constant dissatisfaction with work which is then kept from the world.
Dear founders, time has come to reveal to you another secret of success – you have to allow yourselves to make mistakes. Why? Welcome to another Behind the Scenes, where all will be revealed!
TDJ Pitango Ventures team

Done is better than perfect

Mistakes and the lessons to be learned from them are an essential aspect of the route towards success and optimization, but in our experience it is very difficult to be guided by this thought in business. Founders we have met over the years tended to avoid errors, wanting to only release products tested beyond their limits so that they instantly garnered only the best reviews. They conducted millions of tests, adding more and more functionalities, reconsidering all assumptions in each and every aspect.
In general terms, teams which set the bar high for themselves will be well received by investors. This is a signal that you are working hard and want to develop yourselves and your product. And yet, you should not allow this to continue delaying the launch of your products. We have seen this over and over again – technologists or scientists did not agree to allow the world to see their efforts because they were unsatisfied and failed to notice the market was starting to race ahead of them.
Do you know how Israeli innovators work? A popular anecdote tells of a team which, while flying to see a client in order to present their product, were still working on their demo on the flight over. Looking at the successes achieved by Israeli startups, this sort of attitude is food for thought. In Poland, as well as other CEE countries, no product is allowed to leave their basement labs if it is not totally, fully functional. MVP? Beta versions? These really are rare. Unfortunately, this is no way towards success.
Talking to founders, we often advise them to verify their products ASAP – releasing them onto the market and then reviewing feedback. Practice shows that listening to users is the basis of success – if you have an MVP which is only half-done, then the most important elements of the product should be reaching the markets and gathering user data.
One more point to cover – pivots. This is a natural element your startup cycle and it will be hard to skip it if you want to develop and meet your clients’ expectations. This very much also relates to your contacts with funds! Founders often think their products must be perfect when they show them to investors, because this is their only chance to secure financing. In our case, rejection is not the end – perhaps following pivoting your product will once again arouse our interest and we can continue discussions.

Founders usually don’t like to market-test their MVP’s because they are often afraid of the feedback. Drawing conclusions from interactions with your target customers is one of the best things you can do – not only in the early stages, but throughout the lifetime Wojciech Fedorowicz
Finally the company has a product to release. What kind of feedback to seek from customers? How it plugs a critical gap is a key question to ask. Also, how about an unasked “product – driven function”? Something nobody dared to request but forward thinking entrepreneurs know it will delight the clent. These can become key differentiators and could establish a solid leadership position.Daniel Star

More issues you can find here