There’s a great story on Wired about how several accomplished entrepreneurs are doing “start-up factories,” which really just means experimenting with ideas until something hits. Kevin Rose of Digg fame, for example, has a goal of creating one new app every three months. If the app doesn’t take off, he moves on to the next one. If it does, he doubles down on it.
This was in fact the same model that my co-founder and I started with, and feecha was our first product. feecha did see some traction early, so we doubled down. The second iteration unfortunately was a disaster — it took nearly a year to launch and it was too confusing — but that’s a post-mortem for another day. We’re already working on our next thing.
After three years of the start-up factory model, I’ve come to the conclusion that it only works for “known” entrepreneurs. I.e., entrepreneurs with a large following and friends in the media. When they make something, there’s enough initial curiosity that a sufficient number of people will try it. There will always be data to judge the product by.