“Iteration” has recently become one of my favorite words. Repeating a process can seem daunting and boring, but it’s quite the opposite.
The game for early stage startups like TableTab is to iterate as quickly as possible. To run through iteration cycles in the shortest intervals possible while generating enough feedback to strengthen the next cycle.
It’s a fun game, and one we here at TableTab believe we’re winning at. A big point of iteration over the past month has been sales. More specifically, the value proposition we share with restaurants.
A big benefit of being in the restaurant space is that, well, there’s a lot of restaurants. Which means you’re in a world where trial and error comes with minimal risk. If our value prop is poorly conveyed at one restaurant, there’s 300,000 more to test out the next iteration of our value prop.
So we’ve actually found ourselves in one big experimental arena. And that’s allowed us to iterate like never before. We’ve increased the leads in our pipeline 6x in just two weeks, because with each restaurant conversation came a stronger value proposition.
It’s important to recognize the landscape you’re in, and identify where iterating is most accessible and valuable. For all the pushback we received when we first came up with TableTab (i.e. “the restaurant industry is the worst industry to sell to!”), those individuals failed to see the long-term benefit. See, by being in a space with a high volume of easily accessible customers, you gain the HUGE benefit of fine-tuning your product quickly.
In our case, we spoke with 50 restaurants in the past week. Not by email or phone. By person. Scalable? Not right now. But the goal for us at this stage isn’t scale, it’s information. And that’s seemingly endless in our space.
Iterating also allows for failure, which is required for organic product/market fit and creating something people really want. Having access to failure is a beautiful thing.
Last but not least, iterating shouldn’t be isolated to the startup world. In your own day to day life, iteration should be occurring as frequently as possible to better understand what your passions are, what your preferred lifestyle is, how decisions should be made, and so much more. By not iterating, you’re robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn.
So whether you’re working on a startup, or you just started a job, or you’re still in college, it would be valuable to ask yourself: how am I iterating?