That's all fine and good, and a good lean startup does this often. It's called "Pivot" and it's central to the Lean Startup concept. But what happens when you just keep pivoting? Aren't you chasing your tail? Suddenly, you have a road to nowhere, or worse, a road that goes in circles.
This is a TRAP! Your "lean startup" just got into a slowly dieing spiral of doom. Your dream is getting flushed in the toilet because you keep climbing that tree and realizing that you're going the wrong way!
Here's an example of the Lean Startup in the Toilet Bowl Trap:
- You build a website and collect some preorders (yeah, progress!)
- You ship the preorders and get feedback from customers that they love/hate certain features (yeah, progress!)
- You fix the product based on the feedback, and nobody buys it (yeah, progress!)
- You PIVOT to a new product and collect some preorders (yeah, progress!)
- Jump to step #2, repeat, all the way to the toilet's flush.
So, how do you get out of this toilet bowl trap?
First, remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results.
You have to do something different!
In many cases, the problem is not 'your product' or 'your idea', but the marketing instead!
Instead of constantly pivoting on "product" you might need to pivot on some of the other 4 P's of Marketing:
- Place: Maybe your lack of orders is because it's not available where the customers are... and particularly where the customers are that are in the buying mood for what you offer!
- Price: Maybe your lack of orders is related to the pricing or pricing structure of your product. Maybe you need to sell it in parts, or with different options. It could even be too low!
- Promotion: Maybe your lack of orders is related to how you are attracting customers. Sure, you're getting a lot of 'views', but are those customers: the right ones, in the right mood (buying), with the right goals, with the right problems, with enough education about your solution, etc.? Or Maybe, your just not reaching your right audience, or just not 'appealing' enough to their needs (messaging).
So, avoid the Toilet Bowl Trap: run Lean Startup Experiments on more than just 'the product'...