Last evening, I met with an amazing gentleman, who is in his 50s – running an exotic tech start-up. He said, “My venture is just like my daughter”. And he went on explaining how the pulse of his venture resonates his own resourceful thought process. I could relate what goes on inside a founder’s mind and heart gets reflected into their venture’s growth journey.
After 12+ years in start-ups and meeting entrepreneurs every day, I believe that most often if not always the key personal traits of founders have a direct impact on the growth blueprint of their venture – positive as well as negative.
Following are some of the most compelling introspective questions in this regard:
Are you playing not to lose or playing to win, in your mind?
Are you too busy to identify and zoom-in on benefits for customers, in your approach?
Do you have clarity on commercial goals from your venture, in your heart?
Do you indeed believe,
You have something of value to be delivered to the world
You are going to make it to the top
How many days/ months/ years before that happens, as per your mind?
These traits are nothing but the conditioning that you carry as an individual or group of individuals, and as you progress in the journey of your venture they start reflecting as organizational culture.
An entrepreneur who “Plays to Win” keeps focus on or believe in “Points of Differentiation” in their offering. The one who “Plays not to lose”, would often concentrate on “Point of Parity” in their offering – invariably creating a “Me Too”, that doesn’t deliver incremental value to buyer community, forcing them into a low-cost pricing model.
Who doesn’t like what they built? It is important to remember that the buyer would basis their decision to buy and pay a premium only in proportion with how much they weigh each benefit OR value that the product/ service offers to them.
Clarity leads to power. Clarity in terms of how to drive commercial success, what is going to be the estimated upside etc. are questions to be addressed explicitly.
If you feel that it would take 3 years to make it to the top, in the best case scenario everything else gets aligned to 2X your initial estimates. Chances are that you won’t make it in 6 years.
I am prescribing a few inner-world adjustments to develop a resourceful state for outer-world success here:
Have an open mind, welcome new ideas. Remember that the mind is a protectionist and comfort zone seeker. It doesn’t want any change – believe your heart instead
Be dis-passionate about your product. Be passionate about the value that it delivers to prospect customer’s business.
Be right or be rich! The choice is yours. Relieve your egos in competitive sports. Business only needs your intellectual self and go-getter attitude.
Be absolutely open about how much money you would like to see your venture making.
You attract what you believe deeply as an individual and as a culture in the organization; Attract things that are supportive of growth.