Making Little Progress

Little steps add up. I’ve found that just working conscientiously and consistently on a project for an hour a day can lead over time to great progress.

Each step I take can be measured by the little progress I make. With my newest venture I’m building a culture based around making a little progress consistently each day.

On product development we focus on getting something in the hands of customers. It’s not perfect and they tell us. We make small changes quickly. Now they are happy. That is small progress we can make every day.

On sales we can now consistently close cold customers. It wasn’t always that way. When we first started we would encounter objections and blockages in the pipe. We would quickly learn how to counter or clear the blockage. The next customer through the pipe would move past that point unimpeded. Again, consistent measurable progress.

I’m pleased and proud of the progress that we have been making.

So why when I talk with VCs I hear “You’re making little progress” as derisive — a dismissive insult.

“If there was really market pull you would have been at this stage after 6 weeks.”

“Your sales take too long.”

“You’re not moving fast enough.”

Granted, I often hear this from junior analysts in the firm. I try to understand why they would feel this way. Why they would want to invest in a team that “got lucky” with an idea over a team that can systematically take an idea to market and make a profit. To use a baseball metaphor, why they want players that swing for the fences over those that can consistently get on base.

What I’m looking for is an investment partner that values making consistent, measurable progress each day. Know anyone?

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