Two folks in different Mastermind groups added newborns to their households in the last few months experiencing all of the joys and anxieties and frustrations and insights they bring. I thought it would be fun to compare a startup’s first product with a couple’s first child.
Newborns Vs. a Startup’s First Product
A baby can open up a whole new world for you. Starting at 2 o’clock in the morning.
As the two entrepreneurs are settling in to life in a household with an infant–a truly wonderful tiring scary delightful time–I thought it would be useful to put a short comparison table together of the difference between newborns and new products.
|Comparing Newborns and a Startup’s First Product|
|There is a lot of preparation required and many things get left undone. Some turn out to be
unnecessary and least one or two prove critical and require quick thinking and improvisation.
|Ship Date||Rarely arrive more than two weeks after schedule
and can arrive one to three months early.
|Rarely arrive less than two weeks late,
never arrive more than a few days early.
|At Birth||Everyone celebrates and congratulates you, but it gets harder from here.|
|First 3 Months After||Wonderful when they sleep.||Terrible if neither prospects nor customers
|Thoughts at 3AM
||We got what we asked for, we should have been more specific.|
||It’s like arguing a car alarm, it doesn’t really help.||Team may fall silent but it’s unlikely they
agree or will bring bad news in the future.
|Debugging||You cannot always figure out what’s wrong.|
|Problems||Many are temporary and get better on their own.||Require focused ongoing attention.|
|Sleep||A full night’s sleep is hard to come by.|
||Much happens naturally: e.g. talking and walking.||Requires hard work and collaboration.|
|Surprises||There are many surprises, some pleasant, some unpleasant, all educational.|
|Independence||Most children exhibit a gradually growing and
effective independence, culminating in teenage
years when everyone is looking forward to full
|Products never lose their dependence on the
development team although they can be
designed to support end user configuration
and customers may develop add ons.
|Improvisation||Flexibility and responding to feedback is as important as detailed planning before launch.|
|Changes||Changes can happen both suddenly (e.g.
accidents, first words, teething, puberty) and
almost imperceptibly (e.g. growth, judgement)
|Changes looks more like punctuated equilibrium,
where most features–and bugs–don’t make much
difference and a few have a significant impact.
|“Behind the Scenes”
|| People celebrate a product doing well or a baby growing but rarely see the amount of
“behind the scenes” work required. This can lead to people underestimating
what is required and prematurely jumping into either starting a family or a business.
Related Blog Posts
- Father’s Day 2018
- Father’s Day 2017
- Father’s Day 2016
- Things I Have Learned From My Children
- Father’s Day 2012
- Father’s Day 2011
- Uncle’s Day
- 9 From Greg Knauss’ “An Entirely Other Day”
Photo Credit: Amber McNamara “Smiling Little Boy“