I am sure you can relate with these words ringing in your mind:

“I cant launch yet, the platform is not PERFECT”
“We cant start selling these, we must have the production PERFECT first”
“My product is good but it is not PERFECT so I am going to work on it some more. Once its PERFECT I will sell them in droves”

Here is a theory, when it comes to entrepreneurship “perfect is the enemy of good enough”. This is not my phrase, I got from fellow Dragon Vinny Lingham.

Entrepreneurs must realize that everything has a star point. Today we all immortalize Steve Jobs but this is what the very first Apple Mac prototype looked like

So even the evolutionary genius that was Steve Jobs started somewhere.

My view is simply this; once you have the idea, start working on it. When that idea or product reaches “good enough to sell” stage you have to take the leap and go to market. The market will often teach you thing about the industry, the customer, your competitor and yourself that you would otherwise spend months of desktop research working tirelessly on.

Here are some quick tips for breaking the “PERFECT” trap:

1. Have a “Definition of Done”

You must a picture in your mind of what the “minimum viable product” looks like so that you can launch when you reach that stage. Great beginnings are never perfect. There is no soundtrack playing in the background. No montage of critical moments playing on a flat-screen as you design or build your product. Just you, long nights, early mornings, with little to keep you company but your desire to succeed.

2. Don’t listen to the experts

The problem with experts is, as their title suggests, they no too much. Often they are experts of products or services never themselves having had the courage to commercialise them. They can force you to do the often unnecessary, complex and expensive without a clear business case because they are taught to think through all eventualities before they act. Entrepreneurship (as a start-up level) is about thinking to a point of personal satisfaction and then TAKING ACTION.

3. Trust your gut

There are many things a spreadsheet will tell you. How much. When. How. What. But the single things a spreadsheet can never tell you happens to be at the centre of why you start a business in the first place, WHY!

Below is the first ever Harley Davidson factory. Today the worlds’ most iconic motorbike brand.

Entrepreneurs are often driven less by a prevailing logic by rather a strong reason, a strong WHY. The only connection we have to that why is often the hardest to rationalize, our gut. I have learnt a few things in the years I have been in business; trust in my gut tops the list.

So remember, perfect is a not a state. It is as illusive as the edge of the earth. When you are ready to launch and go to market then, after all in the grand scheme of global domination who remembers where you started?

Vusi Thembekwayo
Speaker. Dragon. Private Equity Partner