One of the things I regret most about my experiences with Mindscape happened in year 3.
You see, for the first couple of years we were laying the groundwork – building the products we wanted to sell. Due to the fact we were still building products to sell, the first couple of years had rather low product sales (duh!). We’ve always practiced releasing early and releasing often so there were dollars being made, just not enough.
By the third year product sales really jumped up to a level that made juggling the numbers a lot easier. And here lies the problem.
Things became comfortable.
I didn’t push hard enough to add new staff, increase marketing activities or really anything that would have led to expenses increasing and, with time, profits also increasing.
It’s an easy for this to happen to anyone starting a business. You really want to have a chance to catch your breath after enduring the stressful early days, but in the long run you’ll kick yourself. That’s exactly what I did – I looked back on our 3rd year at the start of the 4th and realised I’d wasted valuable time. Product revenues had risen nicely but I believe this was more from general product improvements and word of mouth spreading — not because we had really pushed hard to achieve it.
Our first two years had some scary moments but when things became comfortable it was easy to become complacent. The lesson seems to be that if you’re not at least a little bit scared, you’re probably not pushing forward hard enough