Move Slow to Move Faster

Right now Taptanium is moving so slow that a 3-legged mule would overtake it on the freeway. And the reason is that I opted to move slow, rather than fast, in order to move faster once I stop moving slow.

How so? Moving fast means working in your business doing productive things. Such as concept, design, code. Stuff that results in visible output. Updates, new releases. Since Sunny launched on Jan 15 2015, I’ve been mostly working on the business, rather than in the business.

And working on your business appears to be a slow activity, because while you’re doing it there is no productive output. No new releases. Nada. From an outside perspective you could as well be laying on a couch or being on vacation. You appear to be working slow.

However, what holds true for great software development also holds true for startups. To grow, you need to slow down and think. You need to envision and develop a great architecture. A framework for growth that will help you move faster. Which is precisely what I’ve been doing for the past months. I’m studying dozens of books written by startup rockstars, watching talks, learning everything I can about relevant methodologies, success stories, and anything that might help rewire my brain to see a bigger, sharper picture of what needs to be done to reach the goal of positively impacting the lives of more than one billion people.

We’re just 0.0025% there. I’m just one guy with a huge vision and a mindmap so heavy that I almost can’t carry it around without help. And I want to make sure that when Taptanium gets people on board — I mean truly on board, not just freelancers who redirect their attention elsewhere once a task is done — we have a crystal clear idea of what needs to be done.

After all my studies, I realized I’ve been on the wrong track since the release of Thunderspace in 2013. It only reached a ridiculously low 700.000 customers to date with an underwhelming 14-day retention of 33%, and now I start to see why. I start to see the big mistakes that nearly all app developers make who complain about low revenues on the App Store. There is some uproar in the developer community regarding low revenues, and the problem is absolutely not what most people think it is. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the App Store. The App Store is merely a server from which people download apps. That’s it. The problem, my fellow app developers, is that we all need to work more on our business rather than in our business, even if that means slowing down.

It is true that execution beats strategy. However, you can execute on a suboptimal path how hard you want. All the smartest engineers and most followed celebrities in the world wouldn’t be able to help your company grow until you’re heading in the right direction. For the Oatmeal this could mean slowing down the comic production in favor of researching tools to draw more comics faster. For a hobbling app it could mean slowing down work on updates in order to rethink its business model, its goal, or KPIs. For a media app it may mean developing a more streamlined production pipeline.

I’d love to hear how you intend to slow down your business in order to move faster in the future.

I’m @taptanium on Twitter.