I love it when I have a meeting with an entrepreneur who asks for help, and they actually take notes and then follow up in writing after the meeting. Here's an example from a meeting last week:
It was great meeting with you for lunch the other day. As mentioned, one of my 2020 resolutions was to connect with people who matter, but unfortunately, I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. Having known you for almost 25 years, you are certainly one of the people who matter!
As always, meeting with you was enjoyable and enlightening. As I embark on my new business venture, your mention of The Lean Startup by Eric Ries, was timely and hit home by reminding me of the importance of creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The need to get to market quickly, learn, improve and repeat has always been a valuable lesson that you inspired in me. Even though this lesson is part of the Ten Commandments of Managing a Young, Growing Business, and a poster with it hung on my office wall for years, I was surprised at how easily I lost sight of this simple yet powerful rule.
Too often, we get caught up trying to create the perfect product for everyone and get stuck in an endless development cycle without ever getting to market. As you know, in software, it’s called "Feature Creep” and even though I’ve steered many clients away from it, I now found myself succumbing to its power. That is until you reminded me of focusing on the MVP.
“Do good NOW, make better later” are words you shared with me more than 20 years ago and they are as important now as the day you first said them. So much so, that I immediately went back to my office after our lunch and stripped down a two page list of web development tasks into less than one page! We are now on our way to having a working site up in less than one week. Its sole purpose is to enable us to engage with our target markets, learn about their needs and gain insight into their thoughts about our business.
Having achieved this, I promised myself to never let “Feature Creep” or as some would say “Paralysis by Analysis”, distract me again. To ensure this, I am implementing the technique you taught me during lunch, which is to use an existing habit as a trigger to create a new desirable habit. Being that my office window faces west, I am forced every day to close the blinds to block the sun from causing a glare on my computer screen. Each morning I open the blinds to let in the natural light. These two habits are now the triggers that prompt me to evaluate if I’m following the MVP rule in our product road map, as well as all aspects of the business.
Mike, thanks so much for your insight at lunch, it has made a huge difference. More importantly, thank you for all of the positive impacts you have made in my life, I am grateful to have you as a friend and mentor.
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🙏Thank you for the opportunity to be of service! 🙏
The following quote seems to sum up our meeting:
Seneca, one of the great Roman Stoic philosophers, on friendship:
"...nothing delights the mind so much as fond and loyal friendship. What a blessing it is to have hearts that are ready and willing to receive all your secrets in safety, with whom you are less afraid to share knowledge of something than keep it to yourself, whose conversation soothes your distress, whose advice helps you make up your mind, whose cheerfulness dissolves your sorrow, whose very appearance cheers you up!"
Source: On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
Best of luck with your startup, Darrin.
Please keep me updated on your progress, and count on my help anytime.
I love it when people take notes and follow up!