Slow down to speed up

Title stolen from Brad Feld who covers the idea of product cadence in an older blog post:

It reminded me of something I often tell TechStars teams – “slow down to speed up.” I see so many startups rushing to just get stuff out, without thinking hard about “what that stuff is and why anyone would care.” Part of this is lack of understanding of what you are trying to accomplish, but some of this is a lack of product cadence. When you have a clearly defined cadence (e.g., a monthly release) you can focus on “what’s next” while in parallel explore “what’s after next.” But in the absence of a cadence, you are always working on “what’s next” and never looking out any further.

For cadence to be effective, you also need a framework to set goals and measure results. Understanding the path from a given feature or process back to overall success (profit or, more often, revenue) is not a straightforward exercise. It is an iterative process that evolves as you uncover correlations in your business model. More importantly, tracking your product “batting average”—the percent of projects which accomplish your preset goals—is the first step to understanding where low-hanging fruit exists.