Yesterday I spoke about how to position your company. It is like positioning a fly in just the right place for the fish to become very excited about your carefullly created lure and start moving toward it, very fast. That is what a compelling value proposition is about.
But there is more: you have to move the fly like the real bug so the fish continues to pursue it. That gives you the chance to watch the fish strike the fly and you can set the hook and reel it in. The movement in fly fishing terms is called presentation. In startup terms it is about execution. Some say startups are all about execution, it is everything.
Execution is doing your plan. You plan on how you will go fishing. You arrive and start to make adjustments for the changes in weather conditions, shifts in what bugs are hatching in the stream as the day progresses, and in where you discover the fish are hiding. You shift when your fly gets snagged on a hidden stick or rock. You constantly make changes.
Startups are like that. You begin with an idea about what you are going to do. Then you begin to adjust as you discover things and run into snags. I'm driving today to a board meeting for a startup that has hit a lot of snags along the way as the months have progressed. But Anthony the CEO has successfully lead his team and the investors to an attractive situation: the big orders are about to arrive, at last! That is excellence in execution.
Skill in execution is learned in the school of hard knocks. Some comes from related experiences in the military, some from school and others from painful lessons in failed attempts. If you work on gathering positive learning from such events, your tool kit will excite investors and employees.
BOTTOM LINE: Respect execution and how it works. It is part of a greater whole. It is important, yet it depends on prior work such as planning a new venture. Review your life experiences for lessons learned about execution and add them to your tool kit. That is how real entrepreneurs expand their execution skill set.