Cambio Falso

Why staying in place is your worst choice.

March 11, 2020

You cannot expect things to change without making a change yourself. Einstein said that doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

Why the title "Cambio Falso?" I've been watching Narcos, so Spanish is on my mind. It translates to "false change." Meaning, a benign attempt that yields little progression, a band-aid to cure cancer.

The point? Dive deep. Look the ugly of your company in the face and decide to make a freaking change, a real change. One that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you fail, you're no better off than where you are now.

Cambio cierto.

More you say?

Doing It Right vs Doing It Now

And understanding when both are appropriate.

2.5.2020

There are two camps for prioritizing brand elements and how much investment should be given to them:

Doing it Right and Doing it Now.

"Doing it Right" elements can be distinguished by one key characteristic: longevity.

Meaning, they should not change drastically over time because it would diminish their value. Items that come to mind are pieces of the core identity like a name and logo. Without the necessary attention given to them, they easily become lost among competitors or run into issues later. For example, a neglected logo will have difficult placement on varying applications, improper formatting, or general discontent from the owners of a company. Neglected names follow a similar trajectory, as they lose their appeal fast and are difficult to expand. "Do it Right" elements left unattended fall victim to sunk-loss fallacy, working their way deeper and deeper under the skin. Until you finally pull them out and they take pieces with them. Ouch.

"Do it Now" elements can be distinguished by one key characteristic: change.

Meaning, it is expected that at some point these will change because it will increase their value. In the digital age, we have a lot of flexibility to adjust things like a website, social campaigns, email templates, printed marketing collateral, etc. In fact, as technology progresses, it's not even certain whether those mediums will still be relevant. However, it is certain that those elements will change to be better optimized and catered to reflect the brand, or that they will eventually run out of stock and need to be revisited anyway. "Do it Now" elements can start rocky and gradually get better. For example, a website might start out as a single page and move toward a robust, e-commerce site with membership logins, custom CMS platforms, gated content, etc. Change made for the better that adds value rather than detracting from it.

Debating whether or not a brand element needs to be done right or done now?

Ask yourself, "how long do I expect this to stay the same?"

If the answer is, "a long time, hopefully forever," give it the attention it deserves.

If the answer is, "it will have to change eventually," get rolling fast and iterate.

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Stop Lying

Small falsities that make your startup less likable.

4.7.2020

Of all the things wrong in this world, telling a lie is my least favorite. Mainly for this reason: it prevents anything from improving.

If you tell a lie about a situation, you are intentionally shoving any prospect of fixing it out the door. In the startup world, this comes in many forms, "we're gonna have a billion dollar valuation," "our financials are steady," and my least favorite "we're the best."

Look, don't get me wrong, I think you should strive for a billion dollar valuation, you should strive for steady financials, and you should put your best efforts forward, but don't let these aspirations replace the truth. Like the fact that your startup is maybe worth $20,000 as it stands. Or that your financials are super shaky and your revenue streams are scattered. Lastly, don't confuse your best efforts with being the best solution available.

Why? Because if you let these lies replace the truth, you will certainly overlook what is stopping them from becoming true.

Without a doubt there are aspects of your startup that are amazing, and that you are brave enough to go out there and make something happen. But you will never get better if you cannot look your shortcomings in the face and accept that things could be better.

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