Today marks my last day as myG’s Program Director. With amazing support from Keith and the team, I’m striking it out on my own in the online editorial and publishing space, a pretty exciting scene these days where I’m looking forward to making a mark.
As I pass the torch to my beyond-capable colleagues — Kibibi Springs helming at myG and Kevin Strehlo running editorial for the parent company — here are a few things I learned launching myGreenlight. Some I learned from doing it right, and some from doing it wrong.
1. Executing in near total uncertainty is what it takes to create something new. Get used to it and get something out there so that you can get help making it better.
2. Flatfooting on firing people when the fit isn’t right is bad for everyone involved. And if the conversation completely surprises them, you screwed up.
3. Customer feedback is most essential in the idea formation stage of the process. Don’t base your foundation layer on a hunch; back it up with data. Ask questions and do your research upfront so that you can “fail fast,” Lean-Startup style.
4. Communicate transparently with customers and set reasonable expectations. Your early adopters will be a lot more patient if they understand what’s happening and know you’re working hard to get it right.
5. Don’t hire someone else to talk to your customer. Obviously, there are exceptions, but as a rule of thumb in the early stages of a product or company, these relationships and the learning that comes from them are the most important to your success and should never be outsourced.
6. Invest in your employees by paying them well and mentoring them. Cut every other corner before you cut this one.
To everyone I’ve worked with at myGreenlight – and I’m talking about our ambassadors, founding members, and coaches, not just our team – thank you SO MUCH for being my partners in learning and growing. You are a caring, resourceful bunch, the only kind for me.
Please continue to “hang out” with me at least once a month on the Social Capitalist calls, which I’ll continue to produce and host. This month’s call is July 26th, with Jeff Hayzlett, the author & marketing expert about whom Gary Vaynerchuk has written, “If Jeff were a wine, it would be strong, sassy, and bold – just like his savvy business advice.” Register here.