Experiments for startups are necessary in the fast-paced world. Experimentation requires business owners to be open-minded with the results. The results will then suggest what to do for products, marketing, customer engagement, just to name a few. It helps business owners to set their planners by establishing relevant goals and then follow them smartly. These experiments in startups allow them to run at low costs and stay agile.
As businesses are short of funds in the initial days, that is why these experiments are the best solution. These experiments should tell you who your customers are and what do they want from you. You get to know their needs, which will give you an idea of what to produce next. These are the basics but pivotal to running a business.
That is why we will discuss some reasons why experiments make startups cost low. Experiments will also help you to understand your audience and derive the right insights. These are the reasons why you should run experiments with everything you do:
Reasons Why Startups Cost Low:
Inexpensive experiments that are employee-driven tend to be more innovative. These experiments bring positive outputs and establish the company's position. Results also convince many investors to fund the business to that some real action can take place.
Get to Know the End Users:
You might have started your business, but you are still unclear about who your actual end-user is. This happens with most of the entrepreneurs. They fail to understand their final customers. That is why these experiments include such activities that tell you more about your end-users. These experiments are low cost, but they are building the roots for your business.
Provides an Understanding on how to Invest Innovatively:
Businesses always figure out expensive ideas on how to invest innovatively. These ideas, at times, fail due to a lack of information about the real market demands and emerging trends. That is why low-cost experiments help entrepreneurs to invent habit-forming products that generate a high level of need among the customers.
Generate an Insight to Work On:
Without insight, there is no purpose in the business. Insights can never be driven out by investing a huge amount of money. You can only figure out insights by ensuring low-cost experiments. These experiments tell you to capture the need and then work on that. They give you an idea of what can be the next emerging need of your customers.
Always Make Improvements to Grow:
The inexpensive experiments also tell you a way how to grow. They tell where you went wrong in your implementation process. You can easily correct yourself by making rapid improvements. You can only get to realize if you conduct a small experiment before the final launch. That is why businesses always test their products before launching them to the end customers.
Experiments are never a waste of time for your business. You might think like that, but you do not realize that these experiments set the basics for your business. That is why experiments are the most important part. If you have zero knowledge about your customers, then there is no use of your business objectives.
Have you ever felt that you’re superior over others just because you are at a higher post than them? That quality might be one reason why your work performance has been low. Ego plays a massive part in tarnishing your business performance, along with your relationship with your peers. It’s essential to figure out where you’re going wrong and learn from your mistakes.
Are you unaware of how your ego is playing a part during work? Let’s look at some behaviors, so you can become aware of what your ego is doing to your work performance and environment.
How is your ego killing your business?
1. Over-estimating your abilities
You’re someone that believes they can achieve anything. Even though this is a positive mindset that one needs to have for work but don’t go overboard with it. If you set unachievable goals for yourself and your team based on your inflated ego, which will, in turn, harm your business.
2. Lack of learning
Due to the complex that you’re incredibly knowledgeable, you don’t indulge in more learning activities. You’re stuck in a paradox where there’s no learning or growth. How do you think this will affect your business? Egoistic minds, along with not trying to learn more, tend to ignore any criticism being put forward. Instead of working on being more productive, these criticisms are taken personal because of their ego.
3. Decisions solely based on your approval
Is it possible for you to know everything? You being the final decision maker without involving other people in this process is extremely harmful to your business.
What can you do to keep your ego at bay and learn from your mistakes?
1. Stop and think
Before reacting to any criticism or differing opinions, stop. Then, think of the pros and cons. It may be difficult to do so at that start, but you’ll get the hang of it. Be accepting of different opinions for your business to grow.
2. Quit the blame-game
Your ego leaves you with no option but to point fingers at someone for any mishap. Learn how to stop. Evaluate the situation and figure out how to correct the problem rather than blaming others.
3. Treat everyone equally
Learn how to be kind and respectful towards all your colleagues. Rather than pointing out differences in stature and designation, incorporate healthy conversations. This would boost morale in your business and would also result in better productivity.
4. Take credit for success and failure
It might be easy for you to take credit for any success, but the real deal is when you acknowledge your failures. Your ego is kept aside, and you face head-on with where you went wrong.
Ego is generally considered a negative trait to have when it comes to the business environment. Focus on what mistakes you’re making when it comes to your ego and learn how to make amends. Realizing where you’re wrong is critical when it comes to learning from your mistakes. Stashing your ego away will definitely help to create a more friendly working space for you and your colleagues.
Stoicism was found back in the early centuries by Zeno in Athens. It is a school of philosophy of personal ethics informed by its system of logic and its view on the natural world. It laid a deep emphasis on accepting one’s fate in situations where one needs to acquire the courage to deal with extreme hardships. Zeno had this belief that some power ruled the entire world and there was a divine plan which has been followed. He defined the unpredictability of the world, and how significant it is to remain strong and steadfast. Moreover, he discussed that everything exists for a reason, human beings or any living organism in nature. Stoicism stresses the importance of religion and its belief, which may lead to help people out with their miseries in life. Stoicism was used to solve the problems of people and their issues at a time of crisis. The practices of Stoics are known as spiritual exercises. Now, there is a need to know how Stoicism works during a crisis.
Change Hindrances Into Opportunities:
People often make perceptions about things depending upon how they look at it. If they tend to not look upon things as obstacles, they will rather consider them as an opportunity to practice virtue. It maintains an optimistic view of life and getting over the unhappy state.
Embrace Everything Which Happens Around You:
Try to accept and welcome things that happen around you, which may or may not have much significance, but adore every little detail of life. You might control a few things only. By knowing that whatever happens in life to us was meant to be there for us, your life will be more content and will go effortlessly happy.
This highlights one of the most helpful and deeply emphasized practices of Stoicism. One should think of the worst before it happens, that is, the possibility of one facing all the bad situations in life. This makes it easier for one to cope up with the hardships with courage when they encounter any of the problems in life. You might not lose hope then and stay calm in various situations.
Try Being Mindful:
You should have a clear plan of action of what you are thinking of doing. There must be a reality check which you need to maintain instead of getting too much into emotions. Have a brief analysis of your actions daily so that you could learn and give your self a chance to improve. This makes one able to get better with the rest of the decisions in life.
Few of the exercises listed above are a good way of practicing stoicism. Although many people tend to believe that Stoics are unemotional and indifferent from the rest of human beings, which isn't true. Some people think stoicism is cynical, which also, isn't true. They just simply keep rationality first and know how to cope up with emotions. Stoicism tells everything how to be good to mankind and this branch of philosophy helps us to make our thought process better.
Although lots of companies have all of the ideas on how to collect feedback from their customers, the actual struggle is knowing how to build diverse feedback loops that will provide both actionable and valuable information.
You may be wondering what feedback loops have and why is it that some product teams must make use of them.
What Are Product Feedbacks?
According to Eric Ries. author of Lean Startup, the fundamental activity of a startup simply centers on tuning, ideas, and concepts into products, measure just how the customers will react and then learn if at all to persevere or to pivot.
However, bear in mind that the product feedback loop is referred to as the process of taking customer feedback from time to time and improving that product but it will be based on the opinion of the customer.
The creation of early-stage ideas can assist in creating product feedback. According to Ben Garner, there are some cost-effective ways to go through this and they include the use of brochures, UI mockups, and even datasheets.
Furthermore, if your goal is simply to test out the functionality, you will have to create just enough in a bid to deliver the sort of outcome that your users can react to.
Nonetheless, if your goal is to test the product’s fit and finish, you need to create the product to be close to its intended design.
At the end of the day, the goal is practically to build something to place at the front of users.
Measuring Your Product Feedback
There are ways in which you can successfully collect customer feedback and start your feedback loop on your product. They include:
However, the actual value of all these interviews simply lies in the difficulty of the feedback you will get to receive.
Additionally, there are diverse types of customer surveys you can make use of. They include:
1. NPS SurveyAlso known as the Net-Promoter score, this survey is used in measuring the loyalty of customers. It is, however, the most popular survey type.
2. CSAT SurveyKnown as the customer satisfaction score survey, it is used in measuring nothing else but customer satisfaction.
Nonetheless, in creating the best product for your consumers, you will need to verify diverse solutions based on your feedback. At the end of the day, you are brought right back to your feedback loop. The process is non stop.
But if surveys are too official and costly for your startup, consider adding a feature request option. Many startups now offer their customers an option to send in a feature request. Your customers should be the ones who know what features you need to add to your product. After all, they probably spend more time with your product than you do.
At the end of the day, feedback loops are very vital for your product development. Also, feedback loops that are well developed will help you in storing highly valuable information, administering important changes and even building a product that consumers will utilize and love.
As the market has been hot for 10 years straight now, people imagine a startup to be a glamorized life in Silicon Valley. Even the guys in the TV show Silicon Valley had moved on from scrappy startup from their house to a fancier set for the later seasons. However, there are still scrappy startups. The founders of scrappy startups are the most resourceful and creative people we've met in Treehouse Society. Here are five lessons after chatting with our scrappy startup members.
Be efficient with your time
There is a sense of urgency in a startup as seed fundings can run dry quickly and burn rate could get high in a startup. Always be efficient with your time as time is the biggest asset in your business and life. Don't be ashamed of outsourcing
There is a sense of pride in building and making your product. However, there are times when you need to outsource to get work done, and there is nothing wrong with that. You should use comparative advantage to your advantage here.
Don't focus on your competitors
Any scrappy startup should not dwell on dealing with competitions or struggling to do what the competitors are doing. Instead, it is very crucial to focus on what you are offering, where you want to be both in the short run and where you want to be in the long run. In that case, competitors should not be something that will give you a headache but as a source of inspiration and a source of ideas.
Always, never leave a problem unsolved
The basis of success in a new scrappy startup is to solve problems that may be encountered along the way. It is through solving these problems that you will be in a position to head in the right direction. When problems are left unsolved, they will pile on. The problems that are encountered today should be solved today and problems faced tomorrow must be solved tomorrow.
Get the Biggest Bang out of Your Buck
One must be lean in a scrappy startup. Live and work within your means so you don't end up burning money and resources on unnecessary items. This is why most startups choose to work in a coworking space to be within their means.
Treehouse Society is a place where scrappy startups could get a space with the biggest bang out of their buck. This is why so many scrappy startups choose to be based out of here. Take a tour today to find your nook here!
Mental health is such a taboo topic, especially in the startup world. However, it is one of the most important factors to consider in everything from personal life to business. Due to the immense pressure to reach a goal, most employees of a startup develop mental health issues, especially the founders. The level of stress from the fast-moving pace can affect their mental health.
What Is Mental Health?
The mental health of an individual is the psychological and mental well-being of the concerned individual. It can also be used to categorize the collective condition regarding the psychological and emotional well-being of an organization.
Having a positive mental health condition in and around a startup is one of the best things you can hope for as better mental health can lead to better products and better work. Taking care of mental health should be an active investment as poor mental health has its consequences. Poor mental health conditions often lead to a drop in the creativity and productivity of employees and the startup itself.
Symptoms Of Negative Mental Health In A Startup
Various symptoms manifest in the employees of a startup that must be monitored. Due to the high pressure, mental health can deteriorate quickly.
Often time, these people suffer from some of the highlighted symptoms below
Effect Of Negative Mental Health In A Startup
Venture capitalists who invest in startups are most times just interested in the returns of their investment. They are not interested in the sweat and turmoil went through by the founders and the team in getting the agreed results. Hence, there is immense pressure on the startup team to get the result or face the consequences. But startups are run by humans, not robots, and humans have emotions. It is ok to experience emotions.
Some mental health issues have been linked to the pressure developed through the tough conditions found in startups to reach set targets. Some of the known effects of these negative mental health condition in startups include
Starting up a business can be hard but it is important to pay careful attention to the mental health condition of its employees. A healthy working environment and a wellness program should be in place for companies for productivity.
To Wrap It Up
It is important to monitor the mental health of a startup and its employees. This can be monitored by taking note of symptoms that could be manifesting in its employees. Startups need to keep the mental health condition positive for a more productive environment.
Our mental health is the rock of our performance. It leads to an increase in our productivity and makes us proactive. Our thoughts get highly influenced and affected by our state of mental health. To bring positivity in our attitude and nature we need to ensure to keep calm and think wise. We need to adapt patience in our life to increase our level of productivity. Only those people can achieve success in life that is highly motivated and ignore the negativities. Positive thinking can lead to becoming proactive leaders in life. They do not need any special therapies to manage their stress because they know better what move they are making. They are more confident and sure.
Power of solitude and stoicism:
It is at times necessary to spend some time and loneliness. It does not mean that you are sad or extremely hurt or broken from inside and that is why you spend some time in loneliness. Many great leaders spend some time alone because it gives them the power to think more wisely. The most famous one being Marcus Aurelius, the writer of Meditations. It gives the power to accept your mistakes and make you think that what improvements should be made to increase your performance or productivity. Being in solitude and stoicism gives you strength and power to increase your productivity. You tend to adopt patience and calmness.
How can solitude and stoicism increase productivity?
We often think about how we can get successful or increase our productivity. We make so much effort and always stand on our toes to achieve more and more and still do not get satisfied. We never ponder on the reasons behind our unsuccessfulness. We do not realize that our mind needs peace of mind. It is more important to spend some time in isolation. It makes us think peacefully and with patience. It will give us time to learn from our mistakes and make us think deeply to figure out the best solution for our mistakes. Staying in solitude and stoicism will give us the strength to believe in us. It will make us confident to take correct decisions. That is why to increase productivity it is important to spend time in solitude and stoicism.
How can we adapt to patience in life?
Patience is one of the most important elements of life. It gives us the power to achieve more and enough strength to accept our mistakes. We become broad-minded and are ready to accept the reality. This leads us to become successful in life and increase our productivity. We eliminate all those thoughts and activities which bring in negativities and grudges. We become proactive and positive leaders. That is what every successful person does in his or her life. They stay away from those people who demotivate and care about what others think or say. Tim Ferriss and Ben Franklin are great examples of this practice. That is why it is important to spend some time in loneliness. It is important to spend some time in solitude. It gives us peace and patience to manage anger and all the negative emotions in ourselves.
With the use of social media and fast-paced marketing, there are so many expectations for us in the world right now in whatever screen we are staring at. It's human nature that we do not want to accept who we are, what are our flaws and lacking, and what negativities that we adapted in our nature. We do not want to come out from our nutshell to think positive and accept who we are from inside. Sometimes, when expectations and realities don't exactly align, it can cause a lot of frustration and anger to build up. That could cause us to react aggressively and become outrageous if even a little thing goes against our nature. If we are unaware of our emotions and mental state, we can become disconnected from our emotions and the cause of the anger. Then, we will be unable to understand the real reason behind the situation. Here are some tips to overcome these frustration points:
Accept Who We Are
That is why it is important to bring in patience and peace in us. One way to do it is to stop being so connected all the time. Take a deep breath and recollect on our surroundings. Take notes of your surroundings and notice what you like or dislike. If you dislike and are irritated, just nod and continue breathing. We need to accept who we are and our current state. We need to move on. We need to continue moving on with what we are to become more productive. We do not need to prove ourselves to others. Tell them openly who we are and make them accept us.
How do we stop getting angry on our self and move on
It is important that you quickly ask yourself a question whenever you feel angry. Ask yourself right away that is it necessary and something really serious to get angry at? This is because we do get angry with ourselves within seconds even if there is a slight mistake or we did something disadvantageous to us. We curse ourselves and get demotivated. That is a lot of energy wasted. We do not think proactively so that we quickly fix what we did wrong. It is for our health and peace that we bring positivity in our self. We try to help our self through patience. We need to move on by not wasting more time and energy on thinking and cursing our self.
Leave anger and get productive:
Anger stops us from moving on and to do something productive in life. It brings negativity in our thoughts and nature. Anger is like a poison in our life. It does not let us achieve what we dream of. Getting angry on our self makes us more frustrated and we tend to leave things like that. This is the worst part. We are not able to continue with our productivity and get success in life. It is better and beneficial to leave anger and take a positive move. We need to think patiently about the consequences that how negative they are.
Act patiently and think wisely:
Sit in solitude. This will make you think before any action or move you plan on to take. This will bring peace in your soul and reduce your anger. It will bring patience in you and will encourage you to think wisely. Unlike anger, it will halt every positive thought entering your mind. You can never become successful if you let anger defeat your thoughts. That is why, stop being angry with yourself, accept your current state so you can move on and get productive.
After you have accepted the state of the happenings, you will notice that you are 5x more productive than ever! Bring that new energy here and cowork here with us!
by Catherine Choy
Tim Ferris is an entrepreneur, author of several knowledgeable books, and often the #1 business podcaster on all of Apple Podcasts. He frequently shares his insight and knowledge through all of his work. Here are five important lessons we can learn from Tim Ferriss:
Self-improvement is much more than achieving goals.
Of course, when one thinks of self-improvement, one thinks of setting goals and accomplishing them. However, Tim claims that it is only 50% of what self-improvement is. The other half is showing gratitude and focus on appreciating what you already have, not completely on future goals. Tim emphasizes the importance of not becoming one of those people who have accomplished and earned so much, yet is still unsatisfied. If you are not happy, what is the point? This means that constantly reminding yourself of what you should be thankful for is just as important as accomplishing future goals.
Use incentives to keep you motivated.
Often, we may lose motivation when working towards a goal that may take a long time. Some examples of these goals may be to write a book, lose 30 pounds, or save enough money to travel the world. The internal fire to accomplish these goals may be there in the beginning but then it starts to decline as time goes on. Tim says he lacks intrinsic motivation which means that he is not naturally motivated. If you find yourself relating to this, this means that you may work harder when there is a reward or punishment involved. If that is the case, Tim recommends that you set strict deadlines for yourself that are impossible to push back. This way, you are more motivated to work closer to your goal to avoid punishment. Another option is to reward yourself if you meet your deadline. In all, using external rewards and incentives is a great way to keep yourself accountable and motivated.
Continue developing your skills and relationships.
This may seem like a no-brainer as to why it should be important in your life. However, Tim relates explains how developing skills and relationships can positively change your perspective on failure. Tim essentially believes, "Failure isn't a failure if you can gain new skills and develop relationships for future advancement." This means the next time you evaluate a time you “failed”, make sure to ask yourself, “Were there any skills and relationships that I have developed and can help me in the future?”. If the answer is yes, then do not consider it a failure.
You do not need to be relevant all the time.
Take a week, month, or even year off for you to do some deep thinking, cleansing, or whatever it is you need to do before returning to the world. Remind yourself that it is perfectly fine to do this. Tim believes you do not need to be everywhere all at once if you are simply just good at what you do. It is important to diversify yourself from everyone else and to take some time for yourself to fully know who you are and what you want.
Your drive will be the thing to set you apart.
Often we relate success to intelligence. However, intelligence is essentially the minimum qualification it takes to become successful. Many people are intelligent but it is the drive and energy that will set you apart from the others. Tim was willing to use all of his energy and effort required to become successful. This effort and energy are what set Tim apart and essentially led him to his success.
Tim Ferriss is ultimately a productivity superstar and ultimately great at not only achieving his goals but also helping others at achieving their goals. His bestselling books include 4-Hour Work Week, Tribe of Mentors: Short Life Advice from the Best in the World, and Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers. Also, check out his podcast! You will be inspired.
We are always in a hurry to save time and get everything done in the quickest way possible. Driving while being on the phone is the most famous example of multitasking. Multitasking is also switching repeatedly from one task to another, hoping to get them all done at once. But let’s stop and ask ourselves- is multitasking actually increasing our productivity level?
When we jump from one task to another and switch among tasks, we are not being efficient, in fact, we are putting our brains in stress by the constant change. Research has found that even a fresh brain of a 12-year-old cannot multitask. We are actually switching our tasks. Task switching or as we call in Multitasking takes a great toll on our productivity. Following are some of the ways it is taking a toll on us:
The reason why multitasking takes a toll on our productivity is that, us thinking to get maximum done in the shortest span of time, takes a toll on our brain, with time, gradually we start losing our focus, paying attention seems like a torturous task to us and it starts impacting our productivity and daily life in an adverse way. We might get our things done somehow, but we will not be learning or adapting any new skills or techniques.
A great example which I am sure a lot of us can relate is with, when we study we tend to use our phone too. We think we got it covered like we are smart enough to do both the things at once but in reality, it has been observed whatever we have learned in that time does not stay with us for a long time. It is very likely that we forget about the subject matter the next day.
In a nutshell, constant multitasking does not only affect our productivity but tends to take a toll on our mental health as well. Studies have found that when a person feels that he/she has been less productive, it automatically ruins their mood. So psychologists suggest to stick to one work at a time and pay attention to it individually. For your mental health and productivity, you need to stop multitasking.
Check out how to stay productive with a single task by using time blocking techniques!