Doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong strategy, and thinking that what made you succeed in the first place will result in success again is a flawed thinking. This is strategy 101, but many don’t heed this principle.
What do high-flying startups know about growth that others don’t?
According to new research on startup growth, there are ten things high-flying startups do differently to grow quickly. One of them, and it isn’t a surprise, is they change the game by playing by a different set of rules:
None of these breakout companies did it the same way that the incumbents grew in their vertical or type of business. They all picked their own path, often leaving people wondering what they were thinking. HubSpot charged for upfront onboarding, which people thought was a mistake. Turns out it’s a huge piece of their massive retention success.
Yelp stayed away from paying for reviews and wooing food critics, instead focusing 100% on the community above all else. In a landscape where Citysearch and other behemoths catered to businesses and paid for reviews, this seemed almost foolish at the time.
Pretty straightforward, but unfortunately “changing the game” is still very much an anomaly. Why? Because herd mentality is the default setting for most.
One point I strongly make to startups is they need to have a point of view, a set of opinions about what they do; what are they about. Frankly, this is very much a maverick approach to strategy, one where you want to be the only one who does what you do and thus make competition irrelevant.
Good strategy is about making decisions, about choosing WHAT NOT TO DO as much as WHAT TO DO. Making this decision is critical for high-growth startups, and for yours too.
Bottom line: If you mimic the herd, you’ll regress to the mean. Aim to be the only one, not just another one.
Did I ever tell you I love questions? I ask them constantly, and collect them intensely. For the purpose of culture, leadership, strategy and innovation, there are many types of questions that if used correctly can help you see a challenge from different perspectives that may lead to developing unique solutions; the types that can be revolutionary.…
It’s such a common response that many organizations and governments around the world have created their own mechanisms to “drive” entrepreneurship and innovation in their respective ecosystems, but all their efforts don’t matter much because they lack a critical ingredient: culture.
Why? Because many don’t pay attention to culture.
There are various reasons why established businesses fail at innovation, but one stands above all: CEOs don’t really want a new business model.
True innovation, not the incremental type, brings forth new approaches and business models. If you are an upstart, that means you are probably creating a new business model. For an established company, it means coming to grips with the reality that your existing business model is going to become irrelevant; if you don’t act first.
But, no matter how many times we see an established business drop rock bottom because its leaders failed anticipate and change with the times, CEOs of other businesses are content with maintaining the status quo. Seems like learning from others doesn’t fit their mindset.…
This is a guest post by my friend and fellow Generalist, Arnold Beekes.
WTF! What is happening?
It is clear that we are in a period of time, which is called ‘transition’, the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another. We are coming out of the Industrial Age (characterized by efficiency, repetition and thus standardization – building a ‘system of sameness’ in every aspect of life) into a new age, which some people call the Information Age. I am not sure about that name, Information Age, as I see information as, the enabler, rather than the purpose and intention in itself. I would like to call it the Age of Connection (characterized by creation, contribution and thus participation – building a ‘universe of uniqueness’), to be truly connected with ourselves, with others, animals and with nature.
But we are not there yet; we are really in this no man’s land, this limbo.…