Over the past few days, we’ve talked a lot about Thomas Edison and what it takes to get your business off the ground, what it takes to keep your entrepreneurial spirit moving. Today, we want to share another story with you.
In 1896, one of Edison’s engineers came to him with an idea for using a gasoline engine to power a four-wheeled bicycle, or quadricycle. Edison approved of the idea, and that engineer went on to experiment with the idea and build a series of vehicles. Within a dozen years, he had formed the Henry Ford Company.
Ford is rightly credited with launching the automobile industry, along with revolutionizing travel and transportation in the U.S. But today's lesson revolves around the idea of perfection. Or rather, the lack thereof.
We talked last time about how you can begin to research your ideas and test your business model without having an actual product. And, that many entrepreneurs will fail to launch because they’re bogged down, striving for perfection.
Even after you’ve done all your research, this is still a very real danger. So, adopt Ford’s model of development.
Test, Measure, Refine, Test.
Create a Minimum Viable Product, as Eric Ries calls it, and see how that goes. Test how it’s received. Test aspects of it. Measure the results. Did it sell? Did customers like it? Did they use it the way you thought they would? Ask them questions, and take note of the responses.
Then improve your product or model, and test again.
“Anything that is measured and watched, improves.” —Bob Parsons, GoDaddy founder
Ford spent three years developing the gasoline engine and frame for his original Ford Quadricycle before his initial test. And then, after many subsequent tests, he brainstormed ways he could improve on his product.
Make sure that you’re working to get that Minimum Viable Product out to your potential customers as quickly as you can, so that you can begin to get that valuable feedback and test results.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right.” —Henry Ford
What do you think so far? Are these messages helping you to focus your thoughts and inspiring you to get your business started? Just hit reply and let us know what you think. And we’ll talk again in a couple days… we can’t wait to tell you all about this next entrepreneur… his story is magical.
~ Mike, SiteSell CMO