The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

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What Is The 'Iteration Cycle'?

The Iteration Cycle is a process that you can use to improve anything over time.

It has six major steps:

Iteration is a cycle. Once you do it, you repeat it.

The more clearly you define what you're after with each iteration, the better the feedback and the value you'll receive from each cycle.

Josh Kaufman Explains The 'Iteration Cycle'

Nobody-no matter how smart or talented they are-gets it right the first time.

For proof, consider any artistic masterpiece. Beneath the finished surface of the "Mona Lisa," you'll find layer upon layer of draft sketches, false starts, and major alterations. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is covered with hundreds of millions of very small brushstrokes, each of which brought the resulting masterpiece one step closer to completion. It took Michelangelo millions of hammer strokes to turn a crude block of marble into the "David."

The Iteration Cycle is a process you can use to make anything better over time. There's nothing wasteful about the inevitable changes and revisions that these artists made to their creations: every iteration brought the project one step closer to completion.

Iteration has six major steps, which I call the WIGWAM method:

  1. Watch-what's happening? What's working, and what's not?
  2. Ideate-what could you improve? What are your options?
  3. Guess-which of your ideas do you think will make the biggest impact?
  4. Which?-decide which change to make.
  5. Act-make the change.
  6. Measure-what actually happened? Was the change positive or negative? Should you keep the change, or go back to how things were before this iteration?

Iteration is a cycle-once you measure the results of the change and decide whether or not to keep it, you go back to beginning to observe what's happening, and the cycle repeats. For best results, clearly define what you're trying to accomplish with each iteration. Are you trying to make the offering more attractive or appealing? Are you trying to add a new feature people will value? Are you trying to make the offering cost less without detracting from its value?

The more clearly you can define what you're after, the easier it'll be to understand the feedback you're receiving and the more value you'll extract from each iteration cycle.

Questions About The 'Iteration Cycle'


"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."

Thomas A. Edison, prolific inventor


From Chapter 1:

Value Creation


https://personalmba.com/iteration-cycle/



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The Personal MBA

Master the Art of Business

A world-class business education in a single volume. Learn the universal principles behind every successful business, then use these ideas to make more money, get more done, and have more fun in your life and work.

Buy the book:


About Josh Kaufman

Josh Kaufman is an acclaimed business, learning, and skill acquisition expert. He is the author of two international bestsellers: The Personal MBA and The First 20 Hours. Josh's research and writing have helped millions of people worldwide learn the fundamentals of modern business.

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