One of the things I repeat over and over to business owners of any size is "No matter how much money you have, the first edition of your product or service will always suck." (For the record, I hate the word "suck," but people get it so I use it to make my point.)
I always get weird stares and/or stammers, before they blurt out something along the lines of "That's not true. This is the best blah blah blah in the category." You know what? They are often right. It very well may be the best in the category.
But the category and their product will improve with time, meaning the next iteration will be better. The further they get away from that first product or service, the more the first product, well, sucks.
I make this point to them for two reasons:
1. They need to know that the market they are aware of is likely not the market that exists - the main competition likely isn't even in their category, so they're hidden from plain sight (e.g., think traditional PR firm to digital marketing agency).
2. They must quickly understand that "best product" alone never wins the race.
I need them to invent early and often in getting their product/service in the hands of prospects, vendors, distributors, anyone who can share feedback and flatten the learning curve.
The more we can bake iteration into the culture, the more quickly (and nimbly) we can improve and the less we have to worry about competition.
In the post below, the inventor talks about how it took him 40 iterations of the Aeropress to finally get it right. As a coffee nerd, I see the finished product, hear that the creator was an inventor, then think, "Well, yeah. I bet he nailed it in the first couple of tries."
His first designs sucked.
The key isn't to keep going after a design failure. The key is having it in you/your brand to improve, make it better, every day. That only happens if it's part of the culture.