Farmers are like entrepreneurs who live on ‘hope’, ‘optimism’, and belief in their ability to fight against and micro and macro changes in their ecosystem.
Farmer has no guarantee that it would rain just right and that he/she makes enough output to be shipped. They live in constant hope of the perfect weather and market conditions for what they grow. When i read about entrepreneurs or talk to them, I feel that they are optimistic to the height of foolishness and are very hopeful. I am yet to meet an entrepreneur or a star performer who is pessimistic or uncertain.
Agriculture being one of the oldest industries with thousands of years of experience, we could learn some lessons from it.
- Rule of thumb in agriculture is plough, sow, and grow. This is a simple systematic process that every farmer understands. An entrepreneur or any employee such as a product manager could follow these three steps to get to the goal.
- Plough is when an entrepreneur works on readiness plan. Market readiness, product readiness, sales readiness, support readiness, and channel or distribution readiness.
- Sow is where all these readiness plans and strategies are translated to implementation details. Get the tools, resources, schedules, desired quality levels, and everything else that needs for building the products.
- Grow where you nurture the product and leads to close the deal. Nurture the product by building, testing, releasing the beta, getting the feedback, and iterating the process until the product is ready for shipping. Nurture the leads by showing the best of the product and making your leads love the product.
We can use Agile, XP, Lean manufacturing, ISO, Six-sigma methodologies based on the industry and products, but the rule of thumb of farmers is much simple to understand and modify to suit every company’s requirement.