Giocare cambiando le regole a partita iniziata

Nell’ultimo articolo di Paul Graham intitolato What startups are really like leggo

10. Change Your Idea

To benefit from engaging with users you have to be willing to change your idea. We’ve always encouraged founders to see a startup idea as a hypothesis rather than a blueprint. And yet they’re still surprised how well it works to change the idea.

Normally if you complain about something being hard, the general advice is to work harder. With a startup, I think you should find a problem that’s easy for you to solve. Optimizing in solution-space is familiar and straightforward, but you can make enormous gains playing around in problem-space.

Whereas mere determination, without flexibility, is a greedy algorithm that may get you nothing more than a mediocre local maximum:

When someone is determined, there’s still a danger that they’ll follow a long, hard path that ultimately leads nowhere.

You want to push forward, but at the same time twist and turn to find the most promising path. One founder put it very succinctly:

Fast iteration is the key to success.

One reason this advice is so hard to follow is that people don’t realize how hard it is to judge startup ideas, particularly their own. Experienced founders learn to keep an open mind:

Now I don’t laugh at ideas anymore, because I realized how terrible I was at knowing if they were good or not.

You can never tell what will work. You just have to do whatever seems best at each point. We do this with YC itself. We still don’t know if it will work, but it seems like a decent hypothesis.

Mi sembra evidente che qui si alluda ad una serie di valori e principi ampiamente previsti ed esaltati nel compendio culturale dei metodi agili.Ci sono riferimenti alla capacità di accogliere il cambiamento, alla necessità di iterazioni strette per avere feedback frequente e via dicendo.

Il passaggio che mi ha colpito di più però è questo

Normally if you complain about something being hard, the general advice is to work harder. With a startup, I think you should find a problem that’s easy for you to solve. […] Whereas mere determination, without flexibility, is a greedy algorithm that may get you nothing more than a mediocre local maximum

Trovo importantissimo ribadire l’importanza di uno scope mutevole che ci permetta di ridefinire il problema (il backlog, il lavoro da fare) dinamicamente per poi trovare soluzioni possibili. Un po’ come poter correggere la rotta di una nave deviata da una forte corrente. Un po’ anche come capire definitivamente la differenza fra indaffarato e produttivo.

November 12 2009 03:00 pm | Esperti

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