Traction and Scaling

Day 38 Week 6 Q1  Tuesday, February 7, 2023

There are two large sets of skills to transform from being a creative outlier to becoming a sustainable innovator: traction and scaling.

The first, Traction, the motive power provided for movement, is getting in gear so you can stop burning rubber by applying inappropriate amounts of energy to the task at hand, which is to get your insights into the world.

The second, Scaling, is once you get something into the world, how do you make enough of them for others to be able to adopt what you have manifested?

Scaling is fundable, and traction is not.

This means that you may have many ideas and energy and even have become good enough at communicating to convey them but are unlikely to get an investment until you are moving forward and in a way that looks like it can work on a broader scale.

Before worrying about scaling, which will permit many people to use your results, first worry about getting anyone to adopt your insights, which cannot occur until you have applied your insight to some experiential version of your thinking. That means until someone can experience what you are talking about in some manner, no one will understand you.

This could be manifest as a prototype, a demo, a visualization, a model or something people can experience directly more than words. Use your imagination to come up with something but do not assume that others will have the same amount of imagination as you do, and make it more real for them to at least experience, if not comprehend, which may never happen at all.

People do not need to understand how their car, computer or phone works to use them, and most do not.

The moment there is something they can see or experience in some manner, they will tell you, why didn’t you explain this to me? This has happened to me every single time I brought into being something that did not exist prior.

There is no point in making a lot of something until you can reliably make some of them. And until you have also established that someone wants what you are doing. These are called customers, clients, bosses, or even just stakeholders, as they take many forms, but all of them have, at some level, the same question. What is in it for me? 

So it is best to begin by answering these three questions:

What am I doing, who am I doing it for, and why should they care?

Now if you are doing it for yourself, that can be a legitimate reason to embark upon something and, in fact, maybe the most legitimate reason of all.  If you need help and additional resources, you will have to answer these questions for more than yourself.

First, figure out if you have traction before thinking about scaling.