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Nail It then Scale It

The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Creating and Managing Breakthrough Innovation

By Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom
  • Read in 12 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 7 key ideas
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Nail It then Scale It by Nathan Furr and Paul Ahlstrom

Nail It then Scale It (2011) is your guide to perfecting your business plan and expanding your company. These blinks outline the process of creating innovative products that solve problems, targeting and communicating with the right markets and refining your strategy before scaling your business.

Key idea 1 of 7

Thriving businesses are not founded solely on money and great ideas.

If someone handed you a million dollars today, do you think you could use it to create a successful company?

Most people wouldn’t be so sure – and it goes without saying that money isn’t all it takes to develop a successful product. Money can even hurt your business endeavor by breeding complacency; after all, necessity is the mother of invention.

As a result, start-ups with little seed capital often know exactly what’s essential to their product. On the other hand, when time and money flow freely, and there’s thus no need to manage either resource carefully, innovation often fails – or never occurs at all.

Just take an example from 1996, when the video game developer 3D Realms created the wildly successful game, Duke Nukem 3D. They finished development of the game in around 18 months with very little capital. Then, with the millions of dollars the game brought in, they got to work making the eagerly anticipated sequel, Duke Nukem Forever.

Unfortunately, the money they made bought them too much time. Decisions were never made and, in the end, the company wasted 12 years in the development stage before scrapping the game, which was never released.

It just goes to show that money really isn’t everything, and the same can be said of “brilliant” ideas. Such seemingly perfect visions often inspire blind trust, and the determination to make these ideas a reality at all costs can prove risky.

When they’re convinced that their idea is rock solid, many entrepreneurs take the “ready, fire, aim” approach. In other words, they develop and launch their project as quickly as they can, pouring money into it because they’re certain they’ll be able to adapt to the needs of customers later on.

It’s not hard to see why this approach often fails; it leads to products that attract zero demand, like a lawn mower rental service in Manhattan. Because of this failure to account for what customers want, entrepreneurs who follow this model may soon find themselves buried in debt.

But if money and great ideas won’t help you launch a thriving business, what will? You’ll find out in the upcoming blinks.

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