Measure Once, Cut Twice

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In some industries, you ought to be extremely conscientious with what you're doing for one of two reasons:

Either the process has been laid out very clearly (lawyers) or because the consequence of failure is high (capital intensive rocket launch).

Or a combination of both, in the case of surgery (very strict, well-documented procedure + high consequence)

In an environment like that the adage ‘‘Measure twice, cut once.’’ applies.

Not so for us.

We're rebels, misfits and outliers.

We're the ones who're trying to find that very process others will later implement.

We are the explorers.

This means you measure once and cut twice. You GO! You ship!

Fast and in a hurry.

Situation Normal, All Fucked Up! (SNAFU) is our battle cry.

Failing fast and learning quickly is a competitive advantage for us because the consequences of failure are extremely low (especially if you design your experiments well).

And because there are so many variables, the fastest and best way to find out if your assumptions are correct is to test them.

Starting a startup is much more like meteorology then classical physics.

So how can you find structure in such an inherently messy process?

I like binary goals.

In writing: I'm going to write 6 pages without fail a day.

In comedy: I'm going to be on stage performing a new set every Friday.

In a startup: I'm going to talk face to face with 5 potential customers every day.

In one of my favorite clips, George RR Martin asks the legendary Stephen King: "How do you write so Fast?!"

This is his answer:


RJ Youngling