Earlier today I talked to an entrepreneur about his upcoming marketing program. The entrepreneur has been working on a book about his industry that attempts to educate potential clients on certain pitfalls and how the major players in the market don’t always have their clients’ best interests in mind. After talking for 20 minutes about the book and some of its contents, I jumped into the reason for the call: talking about how to handle all the leads that the book will generate.
Only a couple minutes into the meat of the conversation I realized things were awry. The entrepreneur had spent significant monies on a customized Microsoft CRM implementation, new website, marketing consultant to do market research, and still hadn’t launched the book. All the infrastructure work was in preparation for the perceived onslaught of leads that he wouldn’t be able to handle. I quickly told him that he was doing way too much pre-mature optimization of his business and that generating more leads than he can manually handle would be a great thing. Of course, this was difficult to hear but he took it in stride and agreed.
My recommendation is to not pre-maturely optimize for an expected outcome when you’re a startup and can deal with issues quickly. Launch projects early and often and iterate based on feedback. Nothing replaces gathering real information from the field.