Relationships not transactions

Failing quickly is a popular opinion especially when it comes to start-ups. If you fail quickly you won’t have spent much time or burnt much money in failure. For me though, the key lesson is not to fail quickly or fail often, but to understand when to pull the plug and stop throwing good money after bad. The escalation of commitment in something is precisely the behaviour that failing quicker is trying to avoid.

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Stop getting in your own way

It’s very easy to get in your own way. You have the vision, you know what you need to execute on that vision. However, it’s too much work for you to handle alone, so it’s up to your team to deliver on that. You’re going to be quite frustrated at times and believe that you’re better placed to deliver certain aspects of it. So you opt to get involved at the coal-face and handle certain parts of the deliverable yourself. Is it because you want something interesting to do, want to retain your technical edge or is it because you don’t trust your team.

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What to do when your vision hits the buffers of reality

You have a vision that is pretty clear to the technical team and you’re all working towards that goal. The business has bought into the vision previously and they’ve given you the mandate to work on the vision and goal. The next thing that is bound to happen is that the market direction changes or market research shows some different problems that need solving.

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Supportability isn't an afterthought

These days we’re consumed with the new; always looking to get rid of the old in favour of something that’s newer, brighter and shinier. It’s very obvious with consumer electronics and the built in obsolescence that comes with almost every single product on the market. The pace of change, Moore’s law, all support this kind of behaviour; my watch has more computing power in it, most likely, than the ZX Spectrum that was my first computer.

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