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Do less slower

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I’m sure you’ve read David Cohen and Brad Feld’s book Do More Faster. And while I thought the book was full of great advice for entrepreneurs (and I’m incredibly proud of David and Brad for writing it, if admittedly, having heard the moniker of the title oft repeated a few too many times – see here for my partner Jason’s clever tease of them with some help of Xtranormal) I actually think sometimes the best thing a startup can do is to do the opposite of what the book’s title suggests (although some of the inside chapters do not) and Do Less Slower instead.

I’m quite serious about this. While early stage companies are always trying to squeeze just a bit more out of each product release, or streamline this process or that, or expand their product vision; sometimes slowing up a bit, refocusing on the core of the problem you are solving and taking a deep breath is exactly what’s needed. Most companies overcomplicate the product they put out, take too little time to allow for testing before product releases, focus on the next thing rather than making the current thing better and or often overly distracted with things that just don’t matter.

So the next time you get overwhelmed at work, take a step back, see what you can drop off your plate and Do Less Slower instead.

April 6th, 2011     Categories: Uncategorized     Tags: ,
  • http://twitter.com/Teknowlogist Paul Ford

    Hi Seth,nnI think there is a happy medium between what you are saying above, and what Brad and David are trying to say. Perhaps a clearer mantra could be “Do more of the RIGHT THINGS faster”…nnA key phrase that I’ve used throughout my startup career (and even now) has always been “Ruthless Focus”. Its always helped us avoid things like “feature creep”, and let us hit our marks/milestones.nnThanks for the great PostnPaul FordnSoftLayer Technologiesn@teknowlogist

  • http://www.feld.com bfeld

    There’s also a specific activity that you should work hard at Doing More Slower. Remind me to explain it to you the next time I see you.

  • http://www.w1sd0m.net/team Greg Berry

    Seth, thanks for this — having one foot in the world of sustainable business development, and the other in IT, we constantly balance the long-term, societal, generational changes in the former with the quick pace of the latter. generally, we come down on the slower side of the equation, which has its costs and benefits. to paul’s point, i’m currently right in the middle of getting our leadership team into the mindset of (ruthless isn’t a word we use) focus, with a real emphasis on do less, with excellence.

    • http://www.sethlevine.com sethlevine

      i like that greg: “do less, with excellence!”