Failing fast

Silicon Valley.

Home of the modern tech industry.

Semi-conductor dreamland.

I once made a bid to go there. Myself and five friends built an advertising product that was pretty fantastic. We never aimed to topple Google – we just wanted to sneak into that healthy second place. But to get there, we needed funding.

So we did the whole Dragon’s Den thing – we pitched to a load of investors, getting dressed up in uncomfortable suits, after preparing a business plan and a presentation.

And they gave us money. A whole load of money.

Which we then spent.

We built some amazing technology. Beautiful stuff, that worked in complicated, hard to understand ways. It learnt from its responses, adapted to conditions, improved how it displayed its advertising.

But it made no money at all. We spent all the investors money and them, and us, had nothing to show for it, apart from some high blood pressure.

I often think back to what I could have done differently.

And it all boils down to this – fail fast.

Do the very least piece of work to test if your idea is viable. Test it. And if it doesn’t work, at least you’ve not lost out too heavily.

In this case, instead of spending two years building this great technology, let’s pick a few adverts by hand and show them on a few sites – see how they perform – then start building the technology afterwards.

Fail fast. Save more.