Do things that don't scale
It's counterintuitive, but do it when...
It’s counterintuitive. But do things that don’t scale.
At least do it when…
…you still proving if your product is valuable for users.
…you still finding that product-market fit.
…you still early in your startup journey.
Paul Graham pointed out, “One of the most common types of advice we give at Y Combinator is to do things that don't scale. […] You build something, make it available, and if you've made a better mousetrap, people beat a path to your door as promised. Or they don't, in which case the market must not exist.”
The point is, don’t think about scale before you actually prove there’s people want to use your product. You don’t want to waste your time and effort.
For example, if you are going to build a platform like YouTube, you shouldn’t think to build a platform where creators can upload their video. It’s expensive. Instead, find 10 creators that actually willing to make content with you. Prove if they can produce good contents, let them send their video manually, and you publish it on the platform. Then, maybe consider build the platform.
By doing things that don’t scale, you can spend a lot of time learning what best solution to build.
Consider this 6 elements to think about product-market fit.