If you can't run, you can at least ride a scooter.

That was meant to be encouraging but I'm not sure it's working.

“Consistency breeds creativity. If you keep at it, the good stuff will come. You won't write a masterpiece every day. You might not lose a pound this week, but you're working on it. Bite-size change that you create Every Single Day is truckloads more powerful than anything you might dream up every other Thursday evening.”

I think we can all agree that this agile methodology thing❋ has gotten way out of hand (No we do not need to have a daily stand-up call, dear Client) but there’s one concept that I love: the MVP.

Yep, I’m definitely not talking about Most Valuable Player, though that’s great too.

I’m talking about Minimum Viable Product: make a small, working, minimal version of your [cool thing] and release it. See how it does. See what happens. Get feedback. Adjust. Make a slightly different/bigger/better (still working, probably still minimal) version.

Repeat consistently and you’ll end up a) making more cool things that you planned and b) build a crowd of interested people while you’re at it and c) learn what works and what doesn’t as you go so that d) you won’t waste as much time theorizing and planning and will, instead, e) take action, do more, create momentum, and have more fun.

Small version first. Small steps forward will get you to that small version fast. And that’s fun.


Small steps forward

We think we need make major plans and big action, but the small steps add up to huge change.

Small steps add up, and carry you wherever you want to go, as long as you keep moving in the same direction.

If you switch your focus all the time, the small steps will take you in circles.

But if you choose a direction and stick with it, you can take the tiniest steps and get somewhere.

It will seem slow, especially at first. And there will be times when you're sure you're not going anywhere at all. During those times, here's the key: don't think too hard about it. Just keep taking one small step after another.

If you're not sure how to take a small step, reverse engineer your goal:

  • think about where you want to end up: what change or goal or ability do you want to reach? What project do you want to finish?

  • think about the outputs needed to get you there

  • think about the work you need to do to create and release those outputs

  • break the work needed into "small-step sized" pieces

The scope of a small step varies according to person, time available, energy, and other factors. There have been times when a "small step" for me was getting a single paragraph on the page. It didn't seem like much, but paragraphs add up to pages.

What's the direction you want to go? What's a small step you can take in that direction?


❋ Seriously, agile/lean is good but it’s just a start-up trendy version of solid business concepts that have been around for a while.

Peter Drucker, for example, was agile before agile was cool.

Here are some Drucker quotations:

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.

The fewer data needed, the better the information. And an overload of information, that is, anything much beyond what is truly needed, leads to information blackout. It does not enrich, but impoverishes.

Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work.

The only thing we know about the future is that it will be different.

What gets measured gets improved.

The problem in my life and other people’s lives is not the absence of knowing what to do, but the absence of doing it.

The most efficient way to produce anything is to bring together under one management as many as possible of the activities needed to turn out the product.

Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.

Great wisdom not applied to action and behavior is meaningless data.

Keep your eye on the task, not on yourself. The task matters, and you are a servant
Vision without execution is delusion. The joy is in the results.

See? Drucker. He knows.

Also, did you know you can italicize emojis? WHAT.

Look:

❋ /

💪🏼 / 💪🏼

🔥/ 🔥

🚶/ 🚶

Not sure how that’s useful, but I’m happy to know about it. Also, if you’re on a Mac, use control+command+space to open the emoji picker. I just learned this last week and it’s changed my life.