Today I read Inc. Magazines 32 issue of the Inc. 500 & 5000 and was haunted by one statistic in the whole issue… “27% of the 500 fastest growing companies in the world could go from idea to market in less than one month”!
While we practice Lean principles adapted to our company and truly focus on launching MVP’s (minimum viable products) we are a world away from bringing an idea to market in less than a month. This got me thinking about our recent shift to 40 hour work weeks, no more no less and how that truly has sharpened “the three knives of delivering value” (productivity, efficiency, and prioritization) and how that 40 hour limit actually helps accomplish bringing products and ideas to market that quickly.
But still its a huge goal and one worth pursuing as far too many companies delay bringing products to market for the wrong reasons. Its fairly clear productivity, efficiency and prioritization must be executed with precision if we are ever to have a shot at bringing an idea to market in one month or less. Specifically we (and anyone who is striving for the same thing) will have to let go of all of the minutia.
This is especially hard for those of us (me included) who: like to be in control, check their email throughout the day, get weird satisfaction from having an empty task list and unread mailboxes, like to dot every i and cross every t, feel a need to comment on all things relating to the company, etc. But if we are serious about achieving this we will need to learn how to evaluate our day using the three knives of delivering value, being able to separate the things we cannot afford to not do, like launching a product and client obligations we are held to from the things that are of vast less importance but make us feel good when we get them done.
Our number one constraint is time – choosing what to do and what to let go of, is… the difference between launching your dream product and, well… not.
Note: this is based on the assumption that you agree that bringing products to market rapidly is a good thing. I’ll write about why we believe so some other time.