Do you feel strongly about an opinion? Does your product embody it?
Achieve your mission faster by hacking.
Reverse-Engineering The End Result
Not all entrepreneurs have an opinionated aim. Some are trying to build a business without a firm passion for solving a specific problem. By definition, you can’t reverse-engineer a result, without knowing the result.
Start by aiming for an end result. With a specific objective, you know where your wiggle room starts and ends. You know the result you want and what methods are acceptable for getting there.
If you want to send a child to school by any means acceptable to you, you’ve defined your playground. The end result is sending the child to school and the means are within the possibilities that are aligned with your moral compass.
Dave’s Story: Teaching How to Ride a Bike
Dave is a full-time entrepreneur passionate about teaching. He’s building his new, main source of income. He’s limited the current scope to teach young people to ride a bike. Because Dave knows the objectives, he knows the wiggle room.
Some of Dave’s many options are:
- building a better bike
- distributing more bikes worldwide
- teaching his nephew to ride a bike this week
- running an online course
See how these options are radically different in terms of project scope?
Given Dave’s finances, he wants to make revenue in 3 months. He can choose to invent a better bike, but that will drain his funds and not get anywhere before he runs out of resources.
How Dave Hacked Incremental Success
To practice his passion and immediately pay for bills, he started by teaching his nephew to ride a bike. This took a week and he took the most important notes. Then, he built an online course based on how he taught his nephew.
6 months after, he made $5,000 and the business is gaining more and more traction. His newfound success and source of income is propelling him to bigger things. He later explored the next steps, including manufacturing or selling actual bikes.
This was possible only because Dave knew what was non-negotiable. He wanted to practice his passion for learning, while paying for the bills. He didn’t get distracted by attractive possibilities that didn’t fit the criteria. They’re still legitimate possibilities, but he’s reserving them for the right time.
Over to You
Do you know what’s non-negotiable?
Too often, I found myself optimizing the negotiable stuff: great technology stack, making sure the code is clean, etc. All those things remain great, but they’re negotiable. Sure, they’ll have to be optimized at some point, but the non-negotiables should always go first.
I invite you to define your non-negotiables, so you can practice your creativity, bending the things that can be hacked.