Speed, Cost and Being Right

My first generative AI art, using Stable Diffusion. Prompt: “Illustrate the concept of exponential growth”

As a startup founder, you are constantly juggling multiple priorities and making decisions that impact the future of your business. However, it can be challenging to optimise along all three constraints: cost, speed, and being right. In many cases, you will only be able to focus on two of these factors.

When you’re in the early stages of your business and trying to find product-market fit, speed is often the priority. This is because the faster you can learn, the higher your chances of succeeding.

As a startup, you have a limited amount of time and resources to get to PMF. You need to make the most of your time and move quickly to gather feedback, iterate on your product, and ultimately discover what your customers want. The longer it takes to get your product to market, the more you risk losing momentum and valuable opportunities.

Speed enables you to learn quickly and make informed decisions. As you experiment with different approaches and gather feedback, you can adjust your strategy and make improvements in real-time. This allows you to pivot quickly and adapt to changing market conditions.

Of course, prioritising speed doesn’t mean you should completely ignore cost and being right. It simply means that you may need to make trade-offs in order to move quickly.

For example, you may need to invest more money upfront in order to speed up the development process. This could mean hiring additional developers or investing in more advanced technology. While this may increase your costs in the short term, it can ultimately pay off if it allows you to get to market faster and establish a competitive advantage.

You may also need to take risks and make decisions based on limited information in order to move quickly. This means accepting the possibility that you may not always be right. Even if you make mistakes, you will learn valuable lessons that can help you improve your product and make better decisions in the future.

Ultimately, building the decision making flywheel is what allows a startup to outcompete incumbents. The faster the iteration cycle, the better you are at making the right decisions, and the cost of mistakes tend down.

That’s how startups win.






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