There’s a guy you’ve probably heard of; he spent a great deal of money building a rocket. And when he launched it… it crashed. Soon after, he built a second rocket. which, when launched, also crashed. And then he built the third rocket. Guess what? That one crashed too. Clearly, the guy was on a losing streak.

So what did he do?

The only thing that made sense, of course. He went all in. This time with his own money, and built the fourth rocket. The result?

Well… I’m sure you’ve heard of Elon Musk 😉

Anyway. When people hear stories like this, they think the best way to succeed is to go bold. That making audacious moves and going all in will give you a greater chance of winning. But what they fail to see is… you can do the exact same thing on a much smaller scale. Testing small at first and “launching the rocket” only when you know the outcome will be positive.

For example:

Say, you want to mail a postcard campaign to 10,000 homes. It’s your first try, so you don’t know if you have a winner yet. The best way to approach this is to test it on a thousand homes first. Why? Because if your postcard is a winner, it will show up no matter the sample size. You’ll get the same answer when you send a thousand postcards as you would get sending 10,000 cards.

And if your postcard is a loser? You just saved yourself a big chunk of money. And you can test a new concept with the next thousand homes… and then another with the third thousand homes. If you really want to find your “rocket ship”, having three shots at play instead of just one is a much better deal.

Now you have three different postcards mailed to three samples of thousands of prospects, and whichever comes back as the winner, you mail the one to the remaining 7,000. It is the only “surefire” way to build your scalable algorithm.

To win big…

you have to win small first.