Jon Kolko:创业公司“加速发展”的迷思

[脑更新#20120710]

在AC4D一篇新近的博文中,Jon Kolko对创业公司的“加速发展”趋势提出了批评,感觉与其之前对所谓“lean startup”的批评也有几分联系。

一言以蔽之:创业公司所谓的快速爆发、快速成功是一种假象,实现优秀的设计、让业务取得成功,没有捷径,那些看似“迅猛”的成果和成就,背后都隐藏着长期的酝酿和积累以及无数的教训。

一方面,从VC那里拿了钱的创业者们也迫于各种压力,寻求快速发展;另一方面,当下的媒体报道喜欢用“一举成名”或者“一败涂地”来为新闻制造戏剧性,给不少年轻的企业家制造了一种假象,以为更快就是更好:

There’s a lot of startup-hype dealing with speed. Go faster! Accelerate your product! Always releasing, always testing, always honing, always in beta! There’s an implicit idea that for an entrepreneur, faster is better.

Entrepreneurs who have taken VC money commonly describe a huge sense of urgency for the company, the drive to launch and scale quickly. ...Through all of this, tech bloggers and breaking news announcements have created a sense of overnight success and failure. Instagram was just bought for a billion dollars! Just like that – it happened so fast!

然而,Jon Kolko说道,事实绝非如此。无论是Instagram还是Facebook,都在成功之前有着漫长的摸索和酝酿阶段,历经无数挫折,而这些是看新闻的读者很难了解到的——其中的辛酸,只有当事人自己知道。

另一个连带的假象让创业者认为,商业中总有特定的机会窗口期,只要抓住了就能获得成功,总觉得自己离下一个大机会只有几步之遥:

Many people feel that there’s a certain window of opportunity for a “product/market” fit, during which a product will achieve the most traction and success. This window of opportunity is theoretically shaped by platform adoption, by familiarity with technology, and by perceived wants and needs of consumers. It’s also shaped by the competitive landscape. As competitors make strategic investments and react to market changes, there’s a sense of looming takeover: a feeling that the next big thing is always steps away from your innovation, ready to grab your market share. 

然而,这种所谓的机会窗口即使是存在的,它也基本不受创业者个人的掌控:

But this window of opportunity is just out of your control: it’s a result of all of culture coming together into a blend of technological adoption. The serendipity of product/market fit comes from being in the right place at the right time; it’s luck. But it’s not entirely luck, because you can hedge: you can increase your odds of success through the long-term, nose-to-the-grind refinement of a design, and a careful eye to trends and culture.

一方面,成功是综合因素使然,有运气的成分在里面;另一方面,如果你长期积累、励精图治,同时还对趋势和文化有敏锐的嗅觉,那么也许会增加成功的可能性。然而,把所谓的机会窗口(各种热潮各种热门概念)看得太重,以为自己能掌控,就显得太过自大了。

优秀的设计不是赶出来的,成功也不是一蹴而就的。会有各种加速发展的理由和压力存在,但是速度终究只是外部因素,加速度并不是决定产品成功的关键:

Design is not about speed, and design-led entrepreneurship isn’t about speed, either. There is no day where suddenly your product is irrelevant, or your competition has “won”. It happens gradually and amorphously. There are mechanistic (and real) reasons to hurry (your investors will bail on you, you need to pay your bills). But those are externalities to the idea of product/market fit. And if you don’t have those issues, there’s no real need to force such an extreme hurry.

【完】


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