Slow suppresses your product innovation

Adriaan Grové
4 min readJul 1, 2022

I don’t like slow, except when I am on my bike on a steep hill! 😋

A morning ride in my ‘garden’ in beautiful Knysna

The same applies to how I run my company. I try to keep us out of the slow lane, because slow kills innovation. There are several things I feel have the potential in making our company slower, so I stay clear of these:

1. Size

More people = more meetings, approvals etc. Some companies even have workflows to approve the small stuff that could have been the simple decision of one employee. Needless to say, it is important to have clever people on board.

2. Technical debt

If you take shortcuts and don’t focus on quality, it’s going to bite you later. It’s difficult to correct and debt builds up over time. A culture of quality can only be built by a strong team. As a business owner, your mission is to constantly correct if the quality is not on track.

3. Wrong clients

The bigger the invoice from the client, the more they feel they own your (personal) time and product roadmap. These clients prevent you from taking risks that fuels innovation. Minimise your risk and treat all clients the same. Engage with those who provide constructive positive and negative feedback to your product/service development and are with you on your journey.

4. Partnerships

You will only be as quick as your slowest partner. Each of your partners will have their roadmap, expectations, pace of work and views on a particular industry and how things should be done. It takes time & effort to maintain these relationships. If you are used to working fast, most partnerships will feel painfully slow. We try to avoid these.

5. Over planning

You have to work at internet speed to innovate because change happens slowly, then all at once. You can either be a perfectionist and spend 12 months over-polishing a final version of a product, or launch quicker with a minimum viable product and start getting feedback. We choose the latter. Great products are built over many iterations and versions.

6. Bureaucracy

Easy one. I guess this comes with size. We run a flat company structure where I try and serve my employees and we all focus on getting the job done. There is this fallacy that if you are the founder you need to delegate from a throne. When you are on the ground solving real problems, you find solutions. Sure, you need to work on the company, not in it, but I find value in spending time where the action happens, where actual solutions to problems are required.

7. Poor communication

Transparency is the antidote and that is achieved with over-communicating. Poor communication also includes the way your company and products communicate with clients. How do they feel when they approach your helpdesk or open your app? Is it cluttered? Simplicity is the catalyst for scale, freeing up time to innovate.

These unorthodox rules I have will not work for every company and people with MBA degrees will probably think “mmmm…..?”. Thing is, I value our independence and so do our clients. Morgan Housel hits the nail on the head:

Independence is the highest form of wealth.

We live in a world where entrepreneurs look at unicorns and dream of similar, instant success. The drive for funding then seems to filter out the real reasons and the passion for building great products and sustainable companies.

If you are self-funded, it is a little ‘easier’: build products people are willing to buy, the stuff that will put food on your table at the end of the month.

Slow in real estate

Speaking of slow, we are always thinking of ways to help our real estate clients work more efficient. Here are 10 ways we can help you:

I hope you enjoyed reading and that some this resonates with your business or perhaps inspires you. If you want to chat real estate or are interested in building custom real estate solutions with our open API platforms, catch me on LinkedIn (or on the trails in the beautiful Garden Route of South Africa):

“Place of wood”

Two things I’ve learned doing well since moving to Knysna are chopping wood (not this stack) and riding slippery tree roots. As a result my axe is always sharp and the tire pressures are kept low.



Adriaan Grové

I’m the CEO of, I love working with my remote team to solve real estate problems. Questions everything.