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3-2-1 Traction: Celebrating the shitty first draft
Also: how to get lucky, success is irrelevant, Apple’s “mistake”, taking small steps, and getting serious about progress.
Happy Monday 👋
And, no — the subject is not meta-commentary on this email.
But here are 3 ideas from me, 2 ideas from others, and 1 question to help you focus in your journey to find traction.
3 ideas from me
It’s a combined virtual and augmented reality headset that has myriad theoretical applications: virtual meetings, immersive gaming, and interactive learning experiences, to name a few.
But the fundamental question is: why are you going to shell out the cash for and then strap on this device, as opposed to using the phone, laptop, or tablet you already have and use? Most wouldn’t, and Apple knows that: they expect to ship only 200k units in 12 months — a literal order of magnitude less than their typical product launch.
They’re playing the long game, but what’s the bet?
They’re betting that some day, the market will shift into needing something like this — that someone, someday, will create the spectacular solution to that novel problem, and that they will use the only tech available to do it: the Vision Pro.
They need a force to drive adoption, and they don’t have one. They need a killer app, the one that drives mass market adoption of an expensive piece of tech, and no one knows what that will be, if it ever exists.
For now, it’s an awesome (if incremental) innovation. Someday, the tech may be useful. Someday, it may be profitable. Someday, it may be ubiquitous. But today? It’s just a solution in search a problem.
And I guess that’s fine… if you have access to Apple amounts of cash. But don’t try this at home.
Succeeding in entrepreneurship takes a lot of luck, but…
Luck is an external force, and it acts on the surface of your effort: the people you meet, the ideas you encounter, the experiments you try, the effort you expend, and more.
So aim to increase the surface area of your life: cultivate relationships, expose yourself to new ideas, make new connections between seemingly unrelated ideas, and focus your effort on the right things.
Luck is like wind. We cannot control it, but we can damn well harness it.
There’s little difference between a founder who says, “oh, I’m gonna fail, so I better not get started,” and an a founder who says, “I know the answers, so I needn’t test anything.”
Either way, nothing meaningful ever happens.
2 ideas from others
Defeated, I lowered to the ground and realized … that the desire to climb the route had kept me from doing it. My self worth was bound at that moment to my success or failure, and that set off a chain reaction: unnatural desire, pressure, performance anxiety, anticipation, a mind enamored with the top but a body struggling below, bad decision-making, irregular movement, distraction, frustration. All in that order, too.
On a whim, I told myself that on my next attempt, success or failure was irrelevant. “Make one move at a time. That’s all.” I gave myself a pass from whatever would transpire. Case closed.
It worked. I floated to the top with poise, clarity and bewilderment.
Novelist Anne Lamott on perfectionism keeping you from doing:
Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor, the enemy of the people. It will keep you cramped and insane your whole life, and it is the main obstacle between you and a shitty first draft.
1 question for you
What’s is one small step can you take today that will put you on the path toward product-market fit?
Leave a comment to let me know.
PS… If you’re enjoying 3-2-1 Traction, will you take 6 seconds and forward this issue to a friend? It goes a long way in helping me grow the newsletter (and helping more founders find traction).