Los líderes inteligentes como Elon Musk se adhieren a la regla de las bajas expectativas. He aquí por qué funciona y cuándo usarlo.

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Vivo en las afueras de la ciudad de Nueva York, pero paso bastante tiempo en la zona rural de New Hampshire.

Los padres de mi esposa viven allí y nos encanta visitarlos. Es un lugar hermoso, muchas oportunidades para experimentar la naturaleza y el asombro.

Sin embargo, existe un problema práctico: la conexión a Internet.

Es tan rural que es difícil conseguir una banda ancha realmente confiable, rápida y consistente. Eso dificulta que personas como yo permanezcan allí durante largos períodos, ya que casi el 100 por ciento de mi trabajo requiere una conexión rápida a Internet.

He examinado muchas soluciones de emergencia y, por supuesto, no estoy solo en este dilema. Un estudio de 2018 encontró que aproximadamente una cuarta parte de los estadounidenses que viven en áreas rurales no pueden obtener Internet de alta velocidad confiable.

Es por esta razón que he observado con gran interés personal cómo se implementa el servicio de Internet satelital Starlink de Elon Musk. Estoy en la lista de espera para la prueba beta pública, que aparentemente está recibiendo sus primeros participantes no empleados.

Mientras miraba los informes, de repente me di cuenta de que la forma en que Musk y otros ejecutivos brillantes a veces lanzan nuevas ofertas de productos como esta es algo brillante: establecer deliberadamente expectativas muy bajas, lo que conduce a un gran éxito.

Tome el nombre de la prueba beta de Starlink, por ejemplo: «Mejor que nada Beta».

«Como pueden ver en el título, estamos tratando de reducir sus expectativas iniciales», dijeron los correos electrónicos de Starlink a los usuarios seleccionados para la primera ronda, según CNBC. «Espere que las velocidades de datos varíen entre 50 Mbit / sy 150 Mbit / sy una latencia entre 20 ms y 40 ms durante los próximos meses a medida que mejoremos el sistema Starlink. También habrá breves períodos sin conectividad».

Frente a esta barra baja, casi cualquier tipo de resultado positivo ofrecería buenos resultados. Y hasta ahora, algunos usuarios beta que han tenido la oportunidad de probarlo han anunciado en las redes sociales que han visto mucho más de lo que Starlink prometió.

«Starlink es un cambio de juego», escribió un probador beta. «»[B]Antes de obtener 0.5-12 MB / s, ahora obtenía 100-160 MB / s. «

Quizás esté pensando, «Hmmm, ¿cómo aplico esta regla a mi negocio?»

Si es así, creo que definitivamente vale la pena considerarlo, pero también que se requieren algunos factores para tener éxito.

Primero, esto solo funciona si puede ver el dolor real del cliente.

Créame, no tener acceso a Internet de alta velocidad en un área rural después de vivir en un área urbana o suburbana es un dolor significativo para los clientes. (Atención, mundo: estoy emocionado de ver Starlink, pero estaría dispuesto a pagar mucho por cualquier solución efectiva).

En segundo lugar, necesita clientes dispuestos a aceptar una solución a corto plazo, menos que ideal, como parte de su esperanza de una solución mejor a largo plazo.

En tercer lugar, algo relacionado, probablemente necesite escasez. Los mensajes de Starlink funcionan aquí en parte porque hay pocas otras opciones y porque la cantidad de ranuras de prueba beta aún es pequeña.

Según PCMag, la versión beta pública de Starlink se centra en usuarios rurales en Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington y Wisconsin. aquellos de nosotros que estamos un poco más al este debemos seguir esperando.

Cuarto, es necesario que existan inconvenientes mínimos. Debido a esto, «mejor que nada» funciona para conexiones a Internet de alta velocidad, pero no para algo en el que el incumplimiento de un estándar mínimo produciría resultados realmente malos.

Finalmente, quizás lo más importante, recuerde que está tratando de establecer expectativas bajas para los clientes, no sus expectativas para usted o su equipo.

La columna vertebral de Starlink es una red de miles de satélites en órbita cercana a la Tierra que cuesta al menos $ 10 mil millones construir y lanzar.

Sin embargo, según CNBC, SpaceX cree que las ventas totales podrían superar los 30.000 millones de dólares al año, aproximadamente 10 veces lo que la empresa está haciendo actualmente con su negocio de cohetes.

Así que ese es el plan: aprovechar las bajas expectativas a corto plazo para los clientes y establecer altas expectativas internamente.

¿Podría funcionar también para una versión de este trabajo para su empresa?

Las opiniones expresadas por los columnistas de Inc.com aquí son las suyas, no las de Inc.com.

It's so rural that it's hard to get really reliable, fast, consistent broadband. That makes it difficult for people like me to stay up there for long periods of time, since nearly 100 percent of my work requires a fast internet connection.

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I've explored lots of stopgap solutions, and of course, I'm not alone in this quandry. A study in 2018 found about one quarter of Americans who live in rural areas can't get reliable high-speed Internet.

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That's why I've been watching with high personal interest as Elon Musk's Starlink satellite Internet service begins to roll out. I'm on the waiting list for the public beta test, which is apparently just getting its first non-employee participants.

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While reviewing the reports, I suddenly realized that there's something genius about the way that Musk and other smart leaders sometimes introduce new product offerings like this -- intentionally setting very low expectations, which lines them up for great success as a result.

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Take, for example, the name of the Starlink beta test itself: the "Better Than Nothing Beta."

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"As you can tell from the title, we are trying to lower your initial expectations," said Starlink's emails to the users who have been selected for the first go-round, according to CNBC. "Expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mbs and latency from 20ms to 40ms over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all."

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Against that low bar, almost any kind of positive result would vastly overdeliver. And so far, some beta users who have had the opportunity to try it out have been taking to social media to announce that they've seen much more than Starlink promised.

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"Starlink is a game changer," wrote one beta tester. "[B]efore I was getting 0.5-12mb/s now I get 100-160mb/s."

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Now, perhaps you're thinking, "Hmmm, how do I apply this rule to my business?"

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If so, I think it's definitely worth considering -- but also that there are a few factors required to give any shot of success.

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First, this only works if you can identify true customer pain. 

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Believe me, not having access to high speed internet in a rural area after living in an urban or suburban area is significant customer pain. (Attention world: I'm eager for Starlink, but I would be willing to pay a lot for any effective solution.)

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Second, you need customers who are willing to accept a short-term, less than ideal solution, as part of their hope for a better, longer-term solution.

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Third, somewhat related, you likely need scarcity. Starlink's messaging works here in part because there are few other options, and because the number of beta test slots is still small. 

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According to PCMag, Starlink's public beta focuses on rural users in Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin; those of us a bit farther east have to continue to wait.

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Fourth, there has to be minimal downside. This is why "better than nothing" works for high-speed Internet connectivity, but it would not work for something where failing to meet a minimal standard would result in really bad outcomes. 

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Finally, perhaps most crucial: Remember that you're trying to set customers' low expectations, not your expections of yoruself or your team. 

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The backbone of Starlink is a network of ultimately thousands of satellites in low earth orbit, costing at least $10 billion to build and launch.

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But as CNBC points out, SpaceX anticipates that overall revenue could eclipse $30 billion a year, which would be something like 10 times what the company currently makes from its rocket business.

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So, that's the plan: leverage low short-term expectations for customers, all the while setting high expectations internally.

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Could it work for a version of this work for your business, too? 

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