The fail fast, fail cheap approach

Timeframe your experiments and clearly define your expectations so you know when to pivot on your ideas.

The fail fast, fail cheap approach

Whether you are an entrepreneur or intrapreneur, you have this one thing in common: you want to learn as fast as you can & low-cost.

As crazy as it may sound, it's not that easy to fail fast & cheap. As a member of an intrapreneurship squad at Pictarine, I failed many many times. Sometimes, I didn't failed fast neither cheap.

How to embrace a fail fast, fail cheap approach for your Go To Market (GTM) tests?

Fail fast

The first thing I would highly recommend is to timeframe your ideas. It's super easy to fall in this trap where you're convinced that it would only take a few additional days to reach that result you're hustling for. Testing ideas is a continuous battle between data & intuition and you will learn how to best balance the scale between both (Tony Fadell wrote a great piece on dealing with data & intuition vs data in Build's book). Don't over rely on data neither on intuition. Merged together, both are powerful and will give you common sense to take the best decisions.

When you are testing ideas for your GTM, you expect to get use cases to learn from through your tests. Keep in mind that you will encounter more edge cases than use cases. Ask yourself: why? Why did it work? It may sound odd but it can be harsh to understand why a specific product works better than another one. Either it is about something that worked or not, keep asking why. That's how you will leverage your next steps and be in a constant process of self-questioning.

You are in the process of testing ideas so you will mainly work on MVPs. Here, you will have to deal with finding the pixel perfect situation in a degraded mode; with enough features and UX/UI to properly answer potential customer' expectations. Mind about the experience you're offering but keep the bullshit away: colors, CTA positions, etc.

Testing GTM ideas and finding your Product Market Fit (PMF) is a long long road. So is your roadmap; full of ideas and expectations (clearly, even if you don't know your market yet, you already have beliefs about your product and your future customers). It's an easy trap to fill in your spreadsheet, to have as many rows as possible. It's conforting because this is the only thing that's tangible at the moment. The motivation and the willing to find answers. Keep ip short instead. Focus on the biggest learnings you can get; on your product first and then on your distribution channels. It's easy to acquire visitors to your website, whatever the channel. It's still harder to convert them from visitors to customers. So focus and iterate continuously on your product experience first (like Calm did back in the days for instance).

Fail cheap

Have you ever entered a casino? You spent $10 at the first slot machine, you won $15. What do you do with your gain? You play again or you keep it? That's the first question you will ask yourself for every success you will get on the GTM road. Do I add some more cash to dig deeper? Do I even start with $10 or $20? How do I know?

The money you spend will depend on your situation. Still, it's trickier to find the perfect balance when you're backed with lots of money. The less money you have, the easier it will be to find acquisition hacks.

Remember that you're still in the process of testing things so you don't need to acquire traffic all over the US. Focus on smaller areas such as a State or a city for instance. You will get enough information from your campaign and you won't take the risk to address your future customers with your MVP and pre-saturate their attention.

Share your ideas and ask questions. Sometimes, you will get more value from talking with peers than running campaigns. Don't work in a vacuum waiting for your project to be pixel perfect because it never will be.

You need to move fast and to do so, don't build from scratch things that are not game changer. Use what already exists instead. You will gain valuable time doing so. By doing so, you will save on HR expenses. Keep in mind that your spend do not only include ads but also HR. That way, you will find ways to hack and save time whevener possible.

Final thought

The fail fast, fail cheap approach is often difficult to embrace because you are always dealing with what ifs and data vs. intuition.

Keep asking yourself why you do things, how you could answer questions faster and what you really want to know that will have a big impact on your GTM understanding.