As some of you readers know, I’m not a huge fan of “doing the way we’ve always done it.” I have nothing against tradition and proven methods, in fact I’m a big supporter of those ideas. But doing something the “way we’ve always done it” because its the only way we know, because it’s the way we were taught, because it’s easier… well that just doesn’t’ fly for me.
Recently we started reviewing the “way we’ve always done it” in our business plan writing. A graduate assistant help me do some research by examining the concepts of “lean entrepreneurship.” While this methodology is getting some press right now, it’s not entirely new. In fact, its really just embracing the realities of a startup (no money, no time, lots of passion) and validating practical methods for getting a new enterprise off the ground. In an era of fad diets, this “lean” approach actually makes a lot of sense. The process looks something like this: “ideation, innovation, iteration, launch, feedback, iteration, re-launch, feedback, iteration…” You get the picture. I’m very excited to see where these concepts go and how our students respond in their current projects.
For those of you interested in the “lean” methodology, here’s a great conference coming up this fall: The Lean Startup Conference
Hope to see you there!
I teach business at a local university. We have some wonderful business programs, including the MBA program, for which I am the recently-appointed Program Director. Like all good business schools, we ask our MBA students to work on a business plan as their final project. It literally takes them months to complete. They research mountains of data, create miles of spreadsheets and in the end, present a 30-50+ page document, complete with an appendix and works cited page that would make your APA instructor blush with excitement. These tomes are reviewed by well-qualified experts, and vetted for accuracy, depth, computation and viability. Once a number of edits and revisions have been made, and just prior to actually graduating, they fall across the finish line with an approved plan. Mission accomplished! Or is it…?
Some words of wisdom from Seth Godin in an age of “lower prices…”
Will they switch for cheaper?
In fact, most people switch for better.
Without a doubt, there’s a slot in every market for the cheap enough, good enough alternative.
But rapid growth and long-term loyalty come from being better instead.
When your product or your service doesn’t measure up, the answer probably isn’t to lower your price or offer a refund to the disappointed customer. Instead, the alternative is to invest in making it better. So much better that people can’t help but talk about it—and so much better that they would truly miss it if it were gone.
Posted by Seth Godin on March 10, 2014