I am ruthless when it comes to advising other people on their business ideas - because it is better to rip off the bandaid to treat the wound. It is so easy to do that when there is no emotional involvement. There is no pride, no fear, no ego... and so it is easy to be clinical.
Cut this, or kill that. Change this here, increase spend by 20%, take a calculated risk there, pivot based on customer needs, and most of all, do not feel attached.
All of that goes out the window - or doesn't, because your startup is a baby in a bath.
In assessing VIVA's marketing campaigns this week, we saw that VIVA's marketing is not scaling as effectively or as quickly as we predicted last week.
"I think you should wait before shutting off the campaign," Andrea said.
"So I have a tendency," I began. "I tend to make decisions based on early indicators. That's both good and bad. Good because we take action really quickly. Bad because things are killed before they fully develop. Right now, those numbers... those numbers concern me. Those numbers, and that trend, what they are saying is one of three things. One, it could be our ad isn't work..."
"Which we are fixing with targeting now."
"Right, I should rephrase. One, it could be our targeting isn't right. Two, it could be our creative isn't right. Or three, and the reason I am concerned, our product isn't right. If it's our targeting, we can fix it. If its our creative, we can spend a few grand making a new ad. But if it is our product, then that, that has two hypotheses. It could be a superficial user experience hypothesis, or it could be core concept hypothesis."
"OK. I can see why you are freaked out," Andrea said after a pause. "But, our targeting hasn't changed, and our creative hasn't changed, and our product hasn't changed..."
"So, it could be Facebook f*cking us this week."
"Yes, like Adam was saying about quarter four."
"It could be Facebook, or it could be the product."
"That's why you have me here. So you don't have to concern yourself with this stuff, and focus on the important things. Don't even look at the numbers."
"I have to look at the numbers. I have to make decisions."
"I know... but let me deal with the marketing."
As Andrea said, I need to focus on the important stuff, and the important stuff right now is to do our best for Sydney Festival and the other clients... and that means making sure everyone is getting exactly what they want from the app, to match people to events they will love.
... I forgot to take a photo today too.