Most founders look back on their startup journey as the most inten-sive educational experience of their lives. Even serial entrepreneurs,full of war stories, are amazed at what can be learned with each newventure. Rather than thinking of learning as a bonus, something to be gained while chasing customers and revenue, wise founders viewlearning as a primary objective of their startup launch.
They are insa-tiable students of successes and failures, large and small. They digfor cause-and-effect relationships and erase uncertainty whereverpossible. This mindset of discovery ensures that positive results areevaluated and put in perspective, and that the inevitable mistakes andmisadventures bring value to the venture as well. Learning cannot beseparated from your startup’s performance because it drives startupperformance.
Three practices will help you avoid a certainty-driven approachand, instead, launch your venture as a flexible process of discovery.The first is rapid, healthy iteration, a process that will drive and enrichyour new venture learning curve. The second is to ensure that yourcycles of iteration are occurring at multiple levels, beyond simplycranking out new product features. And the third is to capture relevantlessons in a balanced and holistic way, utilizing the four-quadrantmodel for new venture success.