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Thursday, 26 August 2010

Launch Beta and then Iterate

The following is an excerpt from a newsletter I received today from Robin Sharma (the author of The Leader who had no Title” and “The Monk who sold his Ferrari” ). I could not locate the following on his blog site so stress that this extract his entirely his own, and something I wanted to share with you because it really served as a timely reminder to me!

One of the world's best known software companies has a fascinating way of doing things: they launch a fairly good yet unperfected product (a "beta" product) and then they start the iteration/improvement process to clean up the bugs. Each new version (2.0/3.0 etc) is better than the previous one and eventually they grow closer to getting it to a place called Flawless. Fascinating way of doing things.

This approach allows the organization to be an intense hub of product releases - and to (sic) often be the first to market while their competitors quietly toil away in obscurity, hoping to reach perfection before they offer their software to the world. And it gives the company a valuable psychological advantage because they are constantly bringing value to those who keep them in business.

Yes, I completely agree with the arguments saying "but why send less than perfect products out to customers?" etc. Offering your stakeholders nothing less than your absolute best is a great way to build a "durable competitive advantage", to use Warren Buffet's words. But playing with the idea behind the approach is definitely a valuable exercise for anyone interested in leadership and exceptionalism. So, let me ask you, where do you hold back from releasing to the world because you are waiting to reach perfection versus send out beta - and then iterate (and fix the bugs)? Is it a new service that you know would help your clients? Is it that book you've always wanted to write? Is it a project that you are certain would change the game for your business?

Maybe the answer is to model Nike's old tag line and JDI: Just Do It. Just get it out. Just launch it. Just shout it out from the mountaintop. And then, start the process of making it an eventual masterpiece.

With a mixture of perfection and trepidation I find myself resisting taking risks with what I am good at because “it’s just not good enough”. The fear of rejection or actually experiencing rejection is often catastrophised to “I’m not good enough” (ever find yourself thinking that when you weren’t invited to that job interview for a role you knew you could do with your eyes closed?). Nothing ventured, nothing gained so am I am taking this on board to remind myself to take that LEAP!

You can subscribe to Robin Sharma’s newsletters here

Posted via email from Radhika's posterous

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Hey thanks!