Iteration is a process of learning and developing that enables companies to make important changes at an organizational level and micro-level. . In an ever-changing world, the world is constantly changing which means products must change with them. Without iteration, all products will become stagnate and not be able to keep up with the times. Iteration enables people to go to the next level and evolve your product. In order to ensure you are improving your product rather than maintaining it, there has to be a clear plan to move forward, try new things, and iterate effectively. In the words of Michael Bamberger, product teams will always have competitors, there will always be changes in the ecosystem and competitive landscape, and changes in consumer interest that may leave your original product outdated. Long-term sustainability cannot happen without constant changes and product evolution. There is no way to be perfect in the start-up world. The only perfection is “constant improvement,” (Michael Bamberger).
According to Mike Cassidy, Director of Product Search Management at Google, speed is the most critical element in a start-up’s success. It’s no secret that entrepreneurs who are equipped with an abundance of resources like experience and prior knowledge will increase the pace at which operations can occur. It’s also no secret that most entrepreneurs launching a start-up are not equipped with such an abundance of resources. Like Mike once was, the Real Deal team is completely new to the start-up arena.
Sustaining such a level of pace iteration takes effort and sacrifice but it can be done. Team selection, initial product design, product ownership, and work ethic are important pieces to the puzzle. Team members should be passionate about what they are working on. The initial product design should be of good quality which enables change to be made to the product. In the early stages of the product, pay cuts and a number of other sacrifices may be needed; to balance that out team members should have stake in the company.
Organizational dynamics and culture ate critical to the success of any company. Companies that are well-versed in the mindset that learning is continuous are the most successful companies because they are continuously learning and constantly getting better. Right now, it seems as though our team’s issue is attributed to difference in level of commitment to the product. As someone who prefers to work alone this is beginning to become a concern. Many of the articles talked about the role incentivizing plays in making sure team members are carrying their weight. I’m not sure if everyone on our team feels like there is a point to working on the product.
Beyond issues within our team dynamic, we are making the right decisions to ensure The Real Deal evolves before, during, and after its launch. I plan to offer the following suggestions to the team as we move forward and further iterate: constantly evolve, keep a swift space, combine data-driven decision making and lean customer management and development. Currently, we are working on changing some of the application offering and identifying ways to incorporate customer feedback early on.
While preparing our term sheet for negotiation with potential investors, we should consider their goas and motivations as well as those of our team. Investors are looking to maximize the return on their investment, so our term sheet should include forecastable information. As an entrepreneur, this sheet will be used to raise capital. With this in mind, this term sheet should be structured to give up as little control as possible while protecting your position. Negotiation terms are critical. These are all things to keep in mind while we create our term sheet.