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.