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The 66-day start-up challenge

Start a new business and get your first customer in 66 days!


So here it is, the next chapter of our entrepreneurial journey, we’re finally happy with our new business idea “Reboxed” and now we have decided to challenge ourselves to launch the new business in just 66 days!

Why 66 days I hear you ask? Well, it’s because that’s the average time it takes to build a new habit, (according to a study by researchers at Lally et al) and if there is one thing we have learned in the last few months it’s that having pure focus and creating good habits makes a better entrepreneur.

Business lessons from entrepreneur Gary Vee


The other factor is that most workdays aren’t as productive as they can be. We spend too much time on email, have too many meetings, then struggle to find the willpower and energy to focus on what’s really important. Being stuck in the ideation and validation phase for the last 6 months almost killed our motivation and made it really hard to stay focused and maintain positive progress.

When kicking a business off there are so many aspects to it. Especially in our case with our new venture, where we’ve spent months refining the idea and the proposition but no time at all on the product. Moving into this product phase where we need to validate the business with some hard data, not just research and questionnaires it seemed like the fitting time to put some markers in the sand. It’s also useful to have some accountability and an end goal, which is what we intend this 66 days, and you guys reading this, to do for us.

The challenge

So the idea of the 66 day challenge was to fast-forward the project, so we can see what the end result might look like and how the market will react. Along this journey, we aim to get important validation in the form of getting a customer and some key metrics from it, such as cost and effectiveness of certain channels but also some feedback on the user journey and motivating factors from the customers as to why they need this product and why they would use it. We’ve highlighted some key problems that we aim to solve with our product but the main thing is to test and validate our hypothesis.



Getting more done with sprints

Why do sprints help teams get more done? It’s not just about speed. It’s also about momentum, focus, and confidence giving yourself a set timeframe to complete tasks, the style of agile project management is popular in many fields and google ventures use them as part of their accelerator for companies like Slack, Foundation Medicine, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Medium.

As Jake Knapp ex google venture sand author of the Sprint book says “This experience of applying design to business challenges in everything from robotics to farming has repeatedly shown that design is an essential tool — one that helps startups learn faster and build products that fit their customers’ lives better”

In sprint theory 66 days is actually a really long time, some teams build and test in 5 days, trialing prototypes and acquiring customers, for a great example, check out this awesome article by google ventures . We’re taking on our own sprint approach, it’s a “startup brand sprint”. Building a lean model of how we want our brand to communicate, operate and function to prove our concept.

Breaking the 66 day Challenge down

Our 66 day challenge is like “interval training,” short bursts of sprinting and then jogs for us to validate, iterate and improve on our work at each stage. In our startup brand sprint, there are 4 key streams of work, Branding, Product, Admin, and Marketing.


Getting more done with sprints


Why do sprints help teams get more done? It’s not just about speed. It’s also about momentum, focus, and confidence giving yourself a set timeframe to complete tasks, the style of agile project management is popular in many fields and google ventures use them as part of their accelerator for companies like Slack, Foundation Medicine, Blue Bottle Coffee, and Medium. As Jake Knapp ex google venture and author of the Sprint book says “This experience of applying design to business challenges in everything from robotics to farming has repeatedly shown that design is an essential tool — one that helps startups learn faster and build products that fit their customers’ lives better”

In sprint theory 66 days is actually a really long time, some teams build and test in 5 days, trialing prototypes and acquiring customers, for a great example, check out this awesome article by google ventures. We’re taking on our own sprint approach, it’s a “startup brand sprint”. Building a lean model of how we want our brand to communicate, operate, and function to prove our concept.

Breaking the 66 day Challenge down


Our 66 day challenge is like “interval training,” short bursts of sprinting and then jogs for us to validate, iterate and improve on our work at each stage. In our startup brand sprint, there are 4 key streams of work, Branding, Product, Admin, and Marketing.


Airtable project management for the new co.


Some of these sprints cross over in duration and we are pretty much working flat out on each area but have split up areas of project lead with our internal team (when I say team I mean myself and Matt) but it helps to organise your sprints into smaller tasks and goals to keep it as achievable as possible.

Written by Phil Kemish & Matt Thorne

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