Ah! Our first pivot.
Now, in our second week of customer validation, (read that as lean), we find the our first failure! Ironically, it’s the very topic of my challenge at iForem. Pick the wrong entry point or positioning and you run the risk of bad customer translation. The good news is, I am prepared to let go much more quickly and pivot to success.
Failure is part of the message I have been teaching / preaching for the last few years at U.C. Berkeley. I, like many, got stuck on this talking point when in fact it was all about letting go and moving on. I am including two presentation I did back in the day which concluded with Letting Go, AKA Pass the Batton. Leadership Perspective UC and IEOR171_Berkeley_spa_final
That evolved through time to great success. One of the successes came from this off the cuff last minute presentation:
So what came as the big surprise here?
That my message of letting go is a larger and more positive message. I have the honor and privilege of working with some of the greatest minds in the world. When word got around that Fail Pro was online, they took the time to review it, and offer to be interviewed. During the pre-interview talks, they reflected on my Letting Go talks and how powerful they are. That keying in on the failure is a natural entry point, not the destination. That is when it hit me. I was missing the market and target. I am only starting the talk with Failure, but ending with Letting Go.
There is a powerful lesson here. Letting Go is not giving up! It’s really holding on fiercely until you find solid feedback, preferably customer feedback, that indicates you’re missing the true value. When that happens, you can aggressively let go to get ahead. That is the power of failure and knowing how to manage it. Which is why I am advocating the book “The other F* word”. It’s a process of understanding failure, and I am all about letting go and moving on to success. Debating the power of a word, or it’s contextual value in a company, is not what I am about, and this book highlights that battle. The stigma and power of this word are worthy of deep exploration. Knowing the signs and how to measure is critical. In contrast letting go is done in small measures that allow you to move on through failure.
So, here is to the first pivot. Letting go to be a Fail Pro is the mantra! In the spirit of learning and full disclosure, I am practicing what I preach. I hope this inspires you to be a Fail Pro with me!