Tag Archives: startups

Without Experimentation There Is No Innovation

without experimentation there is no innovation

Established organizations want to better their operations, find a new way to go to market, increase customer loyalty or any other positive outcome that betters the business; with a predictable strategy.

But better and different outcomes are not achieved in a straight line; chaos is the norm.

How Innovators Distort Reality

blank canvas thinkingAre all innovators alike?

Michael Dearing, a venture capitalist, has developed strong views on the similarities of innovators after screening over three thousand founders and funding over sixty companies since 2006. Dearing observed that the most successful founders are prone to certain “cognitive distortions”: biased, even objectively inaccurate, ways they think of themselves and filter information that enable them to make quicker and better decisions, bounce back from setbacks, and attract talent.

The Startup Equation with Ja-Naé Duane

the startup equation

Starting a business? On this episode of The Big Bang Podcast I talk to Ja-Naé Duane, serial entrepreneur and co-author of The Startup Equation, about her mission to help one million entrepreneurs worldwide create one trillion dollars for the global economy.

Are all problems worth fixing?

I admit that I’m of the particular mindset of looking out into the world and find flaws— glitches in the system— and construct logical paths in my mind to fix them.

And, if I can start crafting a solution with a blank slate the better. Who doesn’t like thinking about what’s possible!

But, are all problems worth fixing?

What your startup makes should give your customer superpowers

One of the hardest things to do when defining what your business does is explaining it in the simplest of terms; the key challenge is distinguishing between features and benefits. The reason that this is so vitally important is that, in the words of User Onboarding: “People don’t buy products; they buy better versions of themselves.”

Timing: The single biggest reason why startups succeed

Why do startups like AirBnB, Uber, Space X succeed while other fail? Is it the team? Funding? Timing? Idea? Business model?

You, and most people, will think it’s all about the idea, the team and execution. It’s neither. According to serial entrepreneur Bill Gross, it’s all about timing.

Doing what everyone else is doing is the wrong strategy

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.

 

If you mimic the herd, you'll regress to the mean

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.