MOD. TO MEASURE as an idea was born in May 2015 so I guess right around now is its second (pre)birthday. So what has happened in the two years since? To summarise, a partnership with a university fell through (it happens). I have gone through a failed round of recruitment for manufacturers. Twice. I went through the exhausting ordeal of having a user-friendly site built. I planned and cancelled a shoot for said website and it STILL hasn’t launched.
By around August 2015, I realised that this was going to be a very long project, so why did I continue to see it through? Although this was largely a motivational issue (one I will cover later on), my perseverance came from my desire to get shit done.
Before I delve into this, I think it’s important to recall the conversation that led to MOD.
Setting: Five Ways, Birmingham
Michael: “Your trousers are live!”
Me: “I know right! Mother got them made in Ghana. It’s actually mad how we have to travel like 4,000 miles to get what we want.”
Michael: “Yeah _______ was saying the same thing. Here they either get our sizes wrong or we can’t find what we want at all.”
Me: “You know what, there should be a way to get casual wax print clothes without going to a tailor. Why isn’t that a thing? I’m going to make that a thing.”
And then we laughed and MOD. was born.
Just like that, I plotted to create what was then strictly a fashion business with no money, no knowledge and no business background. You may be wondering what compelled me to take such a shot in the dark. That leads us nicely onto lesson #3:
Lesson #3: Get shit done.
No one likes a talker. It doesn’t matter how inexperienced you think you are or how daunting it may seem or even what anyone else thinks. Get it done. So you’re in the same situation as I was back in May 2015; you’re thinking “I have no experience here. I haven’t got the skills/qualifications. What do I do?” Three words: Minimum Viable Product.
In the context of product developmennt, an MVP is a minimal version of your vision to test and develop your creation however, the concept can be applied to anything at all. For example, if you want to offer a service, experiment with one offering rather than a full suite of options. If you are considering a long-term academic process after a long period out of education, ease yourself in with a course. Want to start a blog? Don’t expect 10,000 views in a weekend. Be patient and take the time to build your way up. When I came up with MOD. the dream was to produce trousers, skirts, t-shirts, dresses, shirts, jackets, you name it. Realistically, I knew I couldn’t possibly launch so many products so I decided on producing just t-shirts and massively simplifying the website. Not only would this enable me to test sizing, the operations of the business and the manufacturing process, but it would also let me gauge the response to MOD. and keep customers wanting more.
I came across this timely reminder of exactly why an MVP is important:
There will never be a ‘right’ time to pursue your passion. Every moment you wait, the world is deprived of your contribution to excellence. Getting started provides you with an often needed self-esteem boost. Whenever somebody responds to MOD. with “this is so needed!” I am reminded that what I am working on is worthwhile, especially when times are hard. There is no greater pride than what I feel when I speak about what I am creating. I’m starting a business? That is amazing. When people stop believing in themselves, they give up. The spark that you have to offer the world will never see the light of day.
Whatever you have been putting on the backburner, now is the time to get started! What have you been putting off until the time is ‘right’? Get up and work for it! The time is now. I’d love to hear about your wins, big and small, so tweet me or leave a comment below.
PS: I really appreciate the response to this blog so far. I hope it’s helpful regardless of what you’re working towards.