Too many companies go bankrupt because they haven’t failed enough.
Let me explain…
When something doesn’t work out as planned, the entrepreneur often takes it personally.
“I’ve failed,” he thinks.
It’s assigning personal culpability to an outcome that may be beyond the entrepreneur’s control.
Because whether it’s a solopreneur or a Fortune 500 company, it’s the market that determines what it wants. Research and educated guesses can reduce the chance of initial failure but can’t prevent it.
Billions have been spent to polish turds no one wants to buy. And the only failure involved is the doubling down by trying to sell the market what it clearly doesn’t want.
What’s the solution?
Test. Fail. Make adjustments. Test again.
Don’t tie your sense of self-worth or the merits of the business to whether or not a particular test succeeds or fails. You’re testing. Nothing more.
The only time you chastise yourself is when you give up entirely.
Now that doesn’t mean it’s wise to continue testing something no one wants no matter how you repackage or tweak it. It does mean you test to see what works and what doesn’t. If there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, choose a different tunnel (product, service, or market) to test.
If you’re skeptical, look at the startups that grew to have a successful IPO. Every one of those companies had flops, including the FAANG companies. They just didn’t give up because of the flops or spend their time wallowing in self-pity when a test didn’t work out.
So, test and fail frequently. It’s just part of the process of getting to those wins that you want.
Yet you don’t have to spend a fortune in time and money testing to find those wins.
Because you can reduce the amount of skin you have in the game with an idea for a new product or service through a different type of testing called “pretotyping.”