Categories
Entrepreneurship Startup

Why it’s better to over-promise and okay to under-deliver

I don’t believe in the conventional wisdom of “under-promise and over-deliver”.

I would rather “over-promise and (be fine with if I) under-deliver”.

The under-promise advice makes people play very safe. It doesn’t let them realize their full potential.

It’s a popular belief that when you’re communicating your goals to your manager, leadership, customers, or investors, you should under-promise and over-deliver.

But when you under-promise, nobody gets excited. Everybody can feel the lack of enthusiasm in those conversations.

This lack of enthusiasm is infectious. As one person starts playing safe, others start playing safe too.

And slowly you’re building an organization that’s bureaucratic and lethargic.

This advice seems good for people who want to “survive” but is bad for people who want to “thrive”.


For growth-minded people and high-growth organizations, there is a better option.

You would rather over-promise, and be fine if you under-deliver.

With the over-promise approach, people play aggressively.

They demonstrate a sense of urgency, excitement, and enthusiasm.

And their urgency and excitement are infectious too.

And you end up building an organization that’s agile and lean. ⚡️


The key thing in practicing this over-promise approach is not to punish people if they don’t deliver the committed goal.

Instead, you should pay attention to the effort invested in that goal and measure what % of the goal is achieved in the end.

And as long as it’s considerable progress — say 60-70% — you should still celebrate it as a win.

In the end, you will discover that, most often, with this over-promise approach, people end up delivering more than what they would have delivered with the under-promise approach.

But the bigger win is — you build an organization of high-energy and enthusiastic people that you want to work with. 🙌

Categories
Entrepreneurship Startup

Don’t Find Ideas. Find Problems.

It is not the only way to build a startup, but building a startup to solve your own problem makes the journey far more satisfying and less challenging.

Of course, if your problem also resonates with even tens of thousands of people, then it’s worth pursuing that startup idea.

But most often or not – it’s always a bad move to start with some hot technology trend where founders don’t feel the problem first hand, so they try to “find the idea” to build some solution.

In such situations, starting is easy, but continuing is hard.

When the going gets tough, which it always does, you need a strong “why” to keep going.

Don’t find ideas.

Find your problems.

Categories
Entrepreneurship

How to Learn to be Bold?

I was recently asked in an interview how did I learn to be bold.

This quote describes my philosophy the best: 👇

“Fear is temporary, but regret lasts forever.”

Take a plunge.

Categories
Entrepreneurship

Phases of an Entrepreneur: Creator, Critic, and Crusader

There are 3 phases of an entrepreneur (3 Cs): Creator, Critic, and Crusader.

I learned this insight from Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of Kind Bars while watching Shark Tank some time ago.

The insight was so crisp and clear that it stuck with me.

Recently I shared it with a friend who’s a co-founder at a startup, so thought I should share it with a larger audience.

Let’s understand what are these 3 phases:

In the “Creative” phase, entrepreneurs are in the creative mindset – brainstorming, ideating, and then creating a solution for the problem they have been facing for a while.

In the “Critic” phase, entrepreneurs need to be the biggest critic of their idea, execution, plan, etc. They need to play devil’s advocate and try to poke holes in their vision, plan, or execution in order to create the best product and company.

IMO, this is one of the most important phases, but most entrepreneurs miss it.

And in the “Crusader” phase, entrepreneurs have a solid plan and execution, so they can be passionate crusaders of their cause to create a movement.

While this was shared in the context of entrepreneurship, I believe we can apply this perspective to pretty much all professions.

You can be an engineer, a salesperson, a marketer, or a leader – we all need to evolve through these 3 phases.

We all need to be creative to identify problems in our environment and come up with unique solutions.

We need to be the best critic of ourselves to make sure our plan and execution are strong.

And then eventually we all need to be a crusader to influence people to follow our cause and plan.

Hope this would help you identify in which phase you’re in, and it becomes a guiding post, what’s your next phase is going to be.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy Productivity Startup

About Making Progress In Life

Practice trumps theory.

Execution trumps planning.

Action trumps thinking.

Doing trumps learning.

Writing trumps reading.

Playing trumps watching.

Creating trumps consuming.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Productivity Startup

Bias for Action

Amazon had popularized this leadership principle called “bias for action.”

I find it is not only valuable for leaders at a strategic level, but also extremely useful for individual contributors on a day to day execution level.

Speed is your biggest weapon as an early-stage startup – especially in competitive and hyper-growth businesses.

Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive thinking.

Having a bias for action means you’re not afraid to make decisions and take action, even when you face uncertainty.

The first step to develop a bias for action is to simply put down your thoughts into some document.

Write down any fact, question, concern, idea, or task that you are thinking about.

Once you write down the first sentence, writing down the next one becomes comparatively easier.

The more you write down, the more clarity you get, and the path for execution becomes clear and easier.

Every single time, when we are brainstorming new initiatives, and when things get all overwhelming, I’ve seen writing things down has worked like a charm.

That’s when I realized, “bias for action” is not some fancy leadership principle that I need to learn.

It simply starts with writing down the first sentence.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy Startup

Advice

The purpose of reading and hearing someone’s advice is not the advice itself. 🗣

Most of the time, you already know that advice. 🤷‍♂️

It’s the reminding aspect of it is the most important. 🎗

Most people usually only remember less than 25% of the things they read or hear. 🧠

So it’s not enough we read or hear any advice once or even a few times for that matter.

We need to hear it again and again until it becomes our belief and habit. 😇

That’s why – don’t discard any advice thinking that it’s an old one, and you already knew it.

Instead, be open to read or hear it again as a gentle reminder. 👀👂

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy

Work Hard, Not Just Smart

They say, work “smart” not “hard”.

The reality is – smart work is the fruit of a lot of hard work.

Hard work is how you become knowledgeable about lots of areas and an expert in a few areas to make better decisions for smart work.

Categories
Entrepreneurship Philosophy

If You Haven’t Won Yet

Believe that you will always win in the end.

If you haven’t won yet, it’s hasn’t ended yet.

Keep fighting!

Categories
Entrepreneurship Startup

The Only Right Reason To Do a Startup

There is only one right reason to do a startup:

You fall in love with your customer’s problem.

Everything else is a distraction.