Please don’t let that be you.
The Experiment was built to be a place where you can brush up on best practices, but I’ll be damned if it stops there.
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After learning everything you can and catching up on what everyone else is doing; I want you to push the gauntlet. Dare to go further, dare to venture into unconventional waters, and dare to be yourself in everything you do.
Be comfortable with going against the grain and trying to do things a bit differently than others.
Learn to accept the fact that there is no real playbook for what you’re trying to accomplish. You’re on the frontier, the outer edge, you’re a growth scientist in a grand experiment.
Only after accepting that simple fact can you really understand what it means to be a great entrepreneur.
As an entrepreneur, you’re in the business of blazing your own trail and taking as many people with you as possible. If you can’t find a ready-made solution, you experiment and iterate until you have one.
Iteration is defined by the Marriam Webster Dictionary as
The action or a process of iterating or repeating: as
a : a procedure in which repetition of a sequence of operations yields results successively closer to a desired result.
While trial and error is defined as:
the process of experimenting with various methods of doing something until one finds the most successful.
Put simply, it’s creating an initial product or service then creating different variations on that same product until you have something mindboggling.
The reason I like iteration is because you can apply it to almost everything.
You can apply it to your brand, more on that later in this post.
You can apply it to your traffic strategies.
You can apply it to your social media accounts.
You can apply it to your attempts to get more subscribers
Basically, if you can change something and measure the results then you can iterate infinitely.
Some of the most influential companies you know were created through trial and error.
PayPal didn’t start as the go to online payment processor (it’s great for your customers but not so great for you because they’re notorious for suspending merchant accounts that make too much money). According to the Co-Founder, Mark Levchin, the original vision was to be a cryptography company and later they moved on to sending money via PDA’s.
It wasn’t until years of trial and error, not to mention almost being destroyed by fraud that the company was transformed into what it is today.
As you can see, it wasn’t a flash of genius that helped them get to where they are, it was because they were willing to move forward, make changes, and adapt to the situation they found themselves in.
You don’t wake up in the morning with the solutions to decades old problems.
Nah, that’s not how it works by a long shot.
What you wake up with is an idea or concept, after that, it’s up to you to make it a reality.
Will it be awesome on the first go around?
Can I get a resounding hell no?
Can it get much better through trial and error? How else did you think great companies were developed?
Tim Hardford gave a beautiful example in his Ted talk “Trial, Error, and The God Complex”.
Imagine you’re Unilever and you want to make a detergent in a factory near Liverpool. It’s pretty straightforward right? You have a huge tank full of liquid detergent. You pump it at a high pressure through a nozzle, it dries, you scoop it up, put it in boxes, and make millions of dollars.
How do you make that nozzle? That question actually turns out to be the most difficult part of the question.
If the world were a different place, you’d call a physicist/mathematician (our little Gods) whom understands fluid dynamics and he’d calculate the perfect design of the nozzle.
Unilever tried this and failed miserably.
So, they went on to the next best thing; iteration, trial and error, or variation and selection.
They made a single nozzle and created 10 random variations on that nozzle. Tried out all ten and kept the one that worked best. They tried out 10 more variations and kept the one that worked best. Then they repeated this process something like 45 more times.
On the last iteration, they had an awesome nozzle that worked like a charm. The most incredible part is, nobody on earth can explain exactly why it works so well.
That’s the power of Iteration.
It’s funny really, we all have a very unique way of doing things, but when it comes to business, we seem to work hard at sounding like everybody else. (Do I sound like your friendly neighborhood blogger or can you see my personality in every word I write?)
It’s better to be a child with an opinion than an adult who has too many friends.
I know it can be difficult for you to say some things or write some things online because it is under the scrutiny of the world.
You know what I say to that? Fuck what the world thinks, you’re not writing for the world, you’re writing for the Pristine 35.
As long as your voice resonates with them then you’re in good shape.
Don’t worry about getting it right immediately; contrary to popular belief, a brand’s voice isn’t developed overnight.
It’s tested, adjusted, and made beautiful after interacting with hundreds of customers and potential customers over the course of years.
In the beginning, what you need to do is learn to connect with your audience. From there, you can emerge as a unique voice in your space and reap the benefits thereof.
The world is moving fast, faster than I’d like to admit and faster than most of us can keep up. Innovations only stay innovative for a few weeks or months before a competitor sneaks up on us and does the same thing or does it even better.
To stay ahead of the curve, you need to constantly improve on what’s working and quickly toss out what isn’t.
Create fast, iterate faster, and repeat.
I literally mean doing this for everything. Your brand, your products, your services, your voice, everything.
The one thing I’ll say you hold fast to is your commitment to go above and beyond the call of duty for your audience and customers.
Let me know how you’re going to apply the principles of trial and error in the comments and don’t forget to share