Compare managing a startup to that for a large corporation and you'll boost your chances of launching a successful startup.
Let's look FOCUS today. Serial entrepreneurs and their eager investors agree that understanding the managing implications of focus is critical for success.
Startups win by taking ultimate risk. Large corporations win by reducing risk to its lowest level.
Serial entrepreneurs hunt with one bullet in the gun. Giants use shotguns.
That kind of focus may sound ridiculous to you. Why not work hard to reduce the risk as much as possible? Giants do that and keep on being giants.
The answer is because doing the opposite generates what it takes for a startup to win.
- Focus produces clarity, simplicity and hyper efficiency. Startups make greater use of the tiny resources of the new enterprise.
- Employees know what to do (and not to do), less time is wasted chasing "possibilities" and everyone understands the next big company milestone.
- Media understands "the story" about the startup (and does not have to invent one). Writing the blog is simple and swift.
- Customers know precisely what the company's first product is, why it is so attractive to them and that the value proposition is very compelling. And they eagerly tell all their friends about your exciting new product.
Here are important actions to take as you go about focusing your startup:
- Be couragous. Startup focus calls for you to abandon trying to appeal to every buyer. You must pick an Ideal Customer, drop the rest, and aggressivey aim to sell every one of your Ideal Customers in the world.
- Be bold. Declare how different your startup is. Make it stand out for something insanely great. That will set the stage for great branding of your first product. Do it before your competition does.
- More focus. Startups are seldom focused enough. Large corporate training pulls employees to think like risk reducers instead of focused, hyper-risk-takers. Demand that your startup behaves the same. You'll have to work extra hard to get it focused enough.
Serial entrepreneurs institictively focus their new enterprises. The result is a crystal clear, easy to understand new enteprise. Words flow naturally as people talk about the startup. Emails and Tweets are short and swift, spreading news about the (focused) startup. Everyone knows what the company and its first product are about, especially the Ideal Customer. And it reduces risk for their startups. When you understand that, you'll be well on your way to building an unfair advantage.
I wish you The Best on your Adventure!