The notion of moving forward as quickly as possible is not related to rushing through the whole process. Instead, it is about validating a business idea at the earliest stage of launching a business. In place of spending an enormous amount of time and money on developing a product and finding out that the product is not demanded in the market, businesses should test their hypothesis in the beginning and quickly pivot if needed. Another meaning of moving forward as fast as possible is about receiving customer feedback as soon as possible. It means that emerging businesses should concentrate on the most critical aspects of their product, launch it, and analyze the market’s reaction. However, it does not mean to rush through the planning and development phase. For instance, hasting through the development of a software product may lead to uncaught bugs, which may later result in negative customer feedback and spoiled brand image. The exploration of concepts like lean startup and agile methodology will clarify the difference.
The traditional product development approach is comprised of massive planning in the beginning and design decisions backed by mere intuition. In the lean startup methodology, however, elaborate planning is omitted in favor of short planning and development cycles. Each iteration of the development used the data provided by the customers on the previous version of the product. Therefore, quickly moving forward means making small but quick improvements and delivering them to the market immediately. The Lean Startup approach is a combination of three philosophies that had existed before. The first one is customer development – clients should actively participate in product development, and their feedback should influence the decisions. Lean production, first proposed and used by Toyota, is about minimizing redundancy while preserving quality. The last element is agile project management, where requirements and solutions change as the project progresses. All three methodologies put customers and product quality in the first place. Therefore, any haste that delivers a product to the market quickly but results in poor customer feedback because of inferior quality is not tolerated.
Most aspiring entrepreneurs spend too much time on their business plan, never knowing that their idea is feasible and valid. They spend time and resources to get their business plans to a perfect condition and eventually discover that their product is not needed. This situation is not acceptable in the lean startup approach because it is always too costly to start from scratch. Entrepreneurs should test their business model immediately before spending any time and money on development. Only after hypotheses are proven, product implementation should be started. Businesses should take an incremental approach, often relying only on the specifications that are good enough to build the current version of the product. It is not rational to make a comprehensive plan because specifications will change according to customer feedback. By eliminating redundant operations and elements, each iteration will happen rapidly.
In summary, there is a significant difference between haste and rapid development. The former means lack of focus and a clear vision – the only goal is to complete project neglecting quality and customer feedback. The latter, however, is about taking an iterative approach and testing the feasibility and profitability of the business model before the product is started to be developed. After the implementation is begun, each iteration also happens rapidly, because the amount of work to be completed is small.