SerpicoDEV CEO Vincent Serpico took part in the Spartan Obstacle Race this past weekend in cold, wet conditions (yes, even in Phoenix). A lot of preparation and training at the Rock Star Boot Camp helped him master all the obstacles in the race. Rock Star is no regular boot camp as the sense of team camaraderie and encouragement from other members makes the experienced unmatched.
While entrepreneurial software development and the Spartan Race are two completely different things, there are parallels between them. Both are hard, require a lot of preparation, and have a sweet reward. You will pivot and have to make quick decisions in both. But when it’s all said and done, you can look back and truly appreciate the journey to reach your goal.
So how do the two compare? Let’s take a look at the analogs between the Spartan Race and entrepreneurial software development.
Hire the Right Team
Both require that you have the right team around you for success.
In software development, you must decide whether to hire a team or do it yourself. It’s also important to ensure the right team is hired. Do they align with the vision of your application and business goals?
The Spartan Race is similar. Will you train with another person at the gym, go to a boot camp, or hire a personal trainer? Or will you do it on your own? Often a team approach is better for encouragement and motivation on those days you need something extra, just like in entrepreneurship.
Planning is essential for both.
Entrepreneurial software development requires planning at the beginning so your team knows what to develop and when. This keeps the team focused on the goals of the project. Sure, changes will be made to the requirements of the project but the overall goal is planned for at the start.
The approach to the Spartan Race requires planning well ahead of the race date. What kind of training is going to benefit you the most? Having a clear plan of what kind of training you need to focus on and how you are going to do it is key to a successful race day.
Keeping track of your progress helps you stay on track towards your goals.
Entrepreneurship is a special scenario where you are building a business from the ground up. Making sure you are staying on track and making progress from day to day is important to a successful business. If you don’t know you’re progress, you can’t make the right decisions to be successful in the future.
It’s no different with the Spartan Race. Monitoring your progress to ensure you are becoming properly prepared as race day approaches will make the whole experience that much better. Because you definitely don’t want to start the race and realized you should have trained more.
You will always need to face and overcome obstacles.
Entrepreneurs will face obstacles such as HR issues, cash flow, accounts payable and receives, competition, investors, deliverables and much more. Dealing with obstacles head on and overcoming them is how entrepreneurs rise to the challenge and become successful.
Spartan racers will face obstacles… literally! Like a 25-foot rope climb, an 8’ wall hop, and a mud crawl under razor-sharp barbed wire.
Team accountability is key in getting the things accomplished that you set out to do.
In entrepreneurial software development, accountability is key for delivering a successful project. You and your team need to be accountable for what is being developed and the delivery schedule. If anyone slips up, the whole project can be derailed.
Getting up early in the morning to train for the race can get old. This is where your individual accountability comes in. Are you keeping your training regimen in tact? If you belong to a boot camp, are you training mates encouraging you? Not holding yourself accountable and missing a day or two of training can make the race experience quite painful.
Great communication with your team creates a synergy that can lead to new ideas and motivation.
Software development is a process that requires everyone to stay on the same page. Constant and open communication makes sure of this so everyone is moving in the same direction. Collaborating with your team helps identify solutions to complex problems and resolve issues that pop up quickly.
Communication isn’t only between you and another person. When training for the Spartan Race, you have to listen to what your body is telling you. Overtraining happens quite easily so if your body is telling you to hang it up for the day, then hang it up. If you have a trainer, communicate with them daily on your training, how you are feeling, and concerns. They have the expertise to help you out.
Things out of your control will force you to pivot and adjust no matter what.
During development, changing requirements or market conditions can adjust your course. It happens all the time. Being able to properly pivot for these adjustments will keep your project in tact and on the timeline towards delivery. Thinking about this ahead of time and developing software that is scalable will make pivoting easy.
When training for the race, certain parts of your body will respond better than others. This is where you may need to adjust your training routine. You may need to start focusing more on endurance or agility if they aren’t coming quite as easily. Maybe your strength is coming along great, but it’s causing your flexibility to suffer. This is where you may need to pivot.
Reaching Your Goal
That day you reach your goal, whether it’s software delivery day or race day, is rewarding. You can look back at all the hard work and the path it took to get there.
Entrepreneurial software development takes a lot of twists and turns. Some days are stressful and you often have to work long, odd hours. But delivery day, when your project is complete and you can see your developed application, is so sweet. You know how much work was put in and that’s often the reward, not the compensation you get from it.
Training for an event like the Spartan Race requires dedication and a lot of desire to keep you going. You put your body in uncomfortable situations and have to find time to keep training among everything else going on in your life. But like entrepreneurship, when that day comes and you’ve finished the race, the level of gratification is unmatched. You know how much work was put in and the path it took to get there.
When it comes down to it, entrepreneurship can be compared to any difficult event that you have to prepare for and work towards a goal. The road can be long with good days and bad but when you reach that goal, whether it’s your millionth customer or a successful exit, you look back and know that you accomplished something that not a lot of people have a chance to. The experience of starting a business from the ground up and making it a success is the reward. And no money in the world can compensate for that.
For more information on Serpico DEV and our software development services, please contact us.