Rinse & Repeat (keep it simple)

Founders have visions and (by default) they feel that the future world should look different and if they understand the space that they are working in, they are likely right. But there is a big gap between today’s world and their future vision and the way you get there is one step at a time.

So how does this effect early stage companies? Since your capital is limited, you have to make your bet, stay focused, and do a good job of defining that first step and executing well against it.  If you have a problem that is broken and your product helps to fix it, you will find that the first step of product market fit.

The example that I use is Facebook. In the beginning, Facebook was simply about sharing photos & simple messaging and connecting w/ friends.  When you got there you quickly understood the value proposition. They were able to focus on that and that alone.  Now contrast that to the screen grab below, and you see news, groups, events, pages, etc. all of which are aligned to their longer-term vision, but without the basic stuff working well, nothing else would have happened (interesting to keep in mind how simple they have kept Instagram since acquiring it).

Once you have the simple product that gets to your vision, then you need to put users through the same use case over and over again, hence the rinse & repeat.  If you are getting good at the rinse & repeat then your users are finding value in your product and then you can start to take on a bit more.

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