It has occurred to me more than once since I became a Dad that there are some interesting parallels between being a parent and starting a business. There are also entirely too many parallels between your typical entrepreneur and a toddler.
As a case in point, I was driving with my daughter and in-laws the other day. My daughter had insisted on bringing a purse with her that contained various treasures (a book, a necklace, some candies and a couple of other items). After repeatedly admonishing my Mother-in-Law not to touch her stuff, she decided to share and started unpacking. After distributing the contents of her purse to both in-laws she loudly declared:
“Daddy, I have everything in here that I don’t need!”
Frankly, that’s something most entrepreneurs (me included) tend to do: overcomplicate and focus on having too much of the wrong thing.
I’m consulting for a company that has the simplest core value proposition of any product I’ve ever worked with. And yet much of their early material buried that value prop in a sea of language that just didn’t need to be there. Everything they didn’t need…
When I look back at disruptorMonkey, I think one of our mistakes was to be too broad. I’ve recently been looking at various ways to organize bookmarks/web pages, and I’m finding all of them lacking. We went for the big win of treating all data the same way, rather than focusing on just one type of data, but 95% of what made disruptorMonkey cool could have been demonstrated with just one type of data. Everything we didn’t need…
And I think the success of “simple” apps like the handy ones from 37signals is a testament to the same idea.
So how much of everything you don’t need are you carrying around in your company?