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  8.14. Step 2: Iteratively Launch the Business (4 min.)

Now that you are comfortable that you can make money with your business model, you should be moving full scale into launching and growing your business. During the third test of nailing the solution, you should have developed and refined your initial product; and with the lessons learned from pilot customers, you should take all you have learned and focus on selling your product. Yes, that’s right, now you should be going into full sales mode. If you have nailed the solution, some of the customers you have been working with are eagerly demanding your product, and you need to capture the value in your waiting audience. But you also need to begin to turn the crank on your go-to-market strategy to create new customers.

As you launch the product, your goal is to develop a repeatable business model. Such a model means quite simply that you put money or effort in, you get money out - predictably. As you settle on this repeatable model, you should continue to iterate with your customers, evolving the product to fit their needs. Do not stop talking to customers. At the same time, you should also slowly be transitioning to the point where your product is becoming a complete solution; and as sales continue, you change it less and less until the sales and business models become truly scalable. Rather than repeat what we have discussed in earlier units, it may be simpler to say - just go do it! Act on the facts you have.

But as a word of caution, stay focused on your core value proposition. In the early days of Yahoo!, the company was so busy pursuing interesting avenues, such as Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, and the vision of being a media channel that they overlooked the importance of search. Because they couldn’t make money on search, Yahoo! largely ignored it and eventually plugged the hole in their offering with an outside vendor - Google. One senior executive admitted in confidence that Yahoo! had overlooked the importance of search by a factor of at least 100 largely because they became so distracted by the other obvious opportunities. Contrast Yahoo!’s example with that of Google, where the founders and team stayed clearly focused on search until long after they had turned it into a multi-billion dollar business.

As you begin to scale the business model, remember to stay focused on the core opportunity and remind yourself that after you conquer one kingdom, you can go on to conquer the next. But you can’t conquer the world all at once. The successful companies have stayed focused on the solution they have discovered, executing patiently and iteratively.

(See Nail It Then Scale It, pgs. 166-168)