Entrepreneurs and Perfection
The following post is from Kunal Kumar MBA’18, co-founder of Verrocon, a fall 2016 hatchery business.
Perfection can be the biggest obstacle for an Entrepreneur. I realized it the hard way. “Blingtion”, was my first venture that I worked on, it was about shoes with interchangeable shoe accessories. I figured that I’ll make the best shoe in the market, a perfect shoe, which needs to be of the best quality, should have that perfect shade of grey and when people touch the shoe, the clouds should part and angels should sing. Oh well, if I had to achieve these wonderful features, I would still be struggling with procurement, research and product development.
When I started working on my product I was literally in pursuit of perfection, though I do believe that’s the way to go but considering the time constraint and limited resources; perfection has no business in the world of entrepreneurship. Moving at today’s supersonic pace, you have to weigh the opportunity cost of letting perfectionism slow you down. If you won’t send something until it is perfect, you’re too slow. I guess by being a perfectionist I was often just protecting myself and the product, I wanted to avoid negative feedback. I’d rather hold onto something until I am certain it’s great then proceed. This was one of my biggest learnings so far, I had spent too much time on the product than I really had.
To stay relevant in today’s business world, you need to shift away from the perfectionist approach. Traditionally, people designed and redesigned, tested and retested products in R&D departments until they were perfect. That worked two decades ago. Now, if you wait too long to launch a product, by the time it hits the market, it’s already outdated or even obsolete. You run the risk of a competitor introducing a 2.0 version before you get your beta out. The world is moving faster than you think. I used to think I have all the time in the world to get this right, but we don’t realize that someone is out there who is competing with you for the same piece of pie and not considering this as a possibility is extremely naïve.
I know that there are certain decisions that you believe are crucial to the success of your business and you are not willing to let go. But we must move towards a more agile strategy, where “minimum viable products” are brought to the market quickly. Once a product is launched, development teams gather valuable feedback from the users and customize the product, making it better. They call this process rapid iteration. You don’t wait for perfection to launch your product. You strive for perfection by rapidly responding to market feedback. And I believe this is the best way to go. I have transformed my approach and its working! I have realized that a little criticism or failure never killed anyone. Let’s learn to embrace it and leverage it to produce greater results. Today I look back without regret because each and every step that I took- I learned a lot from it. But now I am ready and moving forward faster than ever before to complete my entrepreneurial dream… Are you?