I was talking with a client of mine this morning about my comments about embracing mistakes. In my conversation, I realized I left one glaring area of potential misunderstanding. While I reiterate my previous comments, I want to add that it is important to control how you make mistakes. I do this with a practice I call rapid prototyping.
When I have a new idea, or a new approach that I want to take to market, I choose a select group of potential buyers and test out the idea, offering or process on them. I only test the idea on people who have the ability to adopt what I am offering. This may be a select group of clients, prospects or a mix.
I go into the effort with certain assumptions and then I compare the results I get with the assumptions I had. After that, I'll refine, change or scrap the effort. Assuming I don't scrap it, I'll choose another group to test the refined effort upon and repeat it until I feel it is 'dialed-in' and ready for a full implementation.
By taking this approach, I am able to get things going out quickly - thus I am able to quickly fix my mistakes. Because I am testing on small groups, I don't risk blowing a big opportunity.