The increasing importance of right first time execution

This Tweet from my friend Nicholas Lovell got me thinking about the changing dynamics of starting companies generally:

Just as it is getting easier to make games so it is getting easier to start companies. Both the amount of money required and the depth of skills required have fallen precipitously, the first driven by open source software and cloud computing and the second by the improving quality of tools, services and advice available to entrepreneurs. (Note building a successful company is still very difficult, it is just the starting that is getting easier.)

As with games the result is that increasing numbers of companies are started each year.

As with games that makes it harder to stand out from the crowd.

The keys to standing out from the crowd are to have a great idea, to execute well and to generate momentum. Early adopters, investors, and the press are always looking for hot new companies that exhibit these characteristics and they have good systems to find them. However, because the number of startups is increasing the bandwidth available to look at each one is declining making it harder for companies to get anyone to take a second look if their execution and/or momentum falters.

Hence it is increasingly important to execute right first time.

(Side note: experimentation and failure are part of good execution in a modern startup so long as the experiments are thoughtful and learning driven.)

 

  • http://www.gamesbrief.com Nicholas Lovell

    I have a problem with accepting your conclusion that it is “increasingly important to execute right first time.”

    Not because it is wrong, but because it risks giving entrepreneurs the wrong advice, or rather that they receive it incorrectly.

    E.g. We can’t launch until we are sure it will be perfect risks missing out the steps of customer discovery and customer validation that are so important to current start up thinking.

  • http://www.theequitykicker.com brisbourne

    Hi Nicholas – I understand where you are coming from and tried to minimise the chance of misinterpretation of my advice with my final line:

    (Side note: experimentation and failure are part of good execution in a modern startup so long as the experiments are thoughtful and learning driven.)

    As ever, there’s a balance to be struck and whilst a couple of years back the risk was that entrepreneurs were seeking perfection rather than launching an MVP, now the pendulum has swung to the other side. I read a post a month or two back where the author was talking about launching ‘Minimum loveable products’ making the point that minimum viable isn’t good enough anymore. I think there is something in that.

    Nic Brisbourne | Forward Partners | Managing Partner nic@forwardpartners.com | http://www.forwardpartners.com | http://www.theequitykicker.com
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  • http://www.gamesbrief.com Nicholas Lovell

    Indeed. In games, we’ve started focusing on Minimum Awesome Product 🙂

    I wrote about that here: http://www.gamesbrief.com/2014/04/make-a-minimum-awesome-product/