Option 1 means you get feedback by the end of the day. Option 2 requires ad creative and a functioning product, which will take another 4 weeks. Option 3 is useless without a strong base of customers who already love the product. Option 1 looks promising, but what if you can go even faster?
You’re 5 minutes away from the local mall where high schoolers like to hang out. You decide to set up shop and offer them a burrito in exchange for feedback on your app.
You net 20 real customers in 5 hours! On day 2, you move even closer to the source, right outside a high school. You happen to catch the attention of a teacher who invites you to guest-teach her entrepreneurship class. Jackpot! This happened in real life to Shaan Puri. It’s a great example of how to make progress faster by compressing 1-month work into 1-day or 1-hour. This skill is priceless when building new products, but it’s also surprisingly useful in interviews. Before I go there, let me give you another example.
I’ve been exploring new business ideas. For early customer interviews, I wanted to end off with a prototype. But a real prototype would need a working Python script — a 3-day project. To save time, I went with a partial prototype — just a few hours of manual work, instead of an automated system. Armed with feedback, I was ready to make a real prototype. The old me would’ve dived into a Python course. The new me favors just-in-time learning, so I found scripts to adapt instead of composing from scratch. This turned a 1-month project into a 3-day project. After all, I didn’t need a scalable prototype yet. By shortening the time required for each step, you can de-risk your ideas faster. Momentum drives more momentum. This same mindset can level you up in interviews, as a hiring manager or candidate.