Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Startupville: Start with a skate board.

Imagine a Fortune 500 company trying to build a car.  

Because the company has lots of resources, they likely have a customer research team dedicated to understanding what the customer wants. They have lots of engineering experts each of which is able to produce products of technical complexity. Finally, and probably most importantly they have a culture which rewards accomplishing big things, often before they hit the market. As a consequence, at a large company a car would probably be developed one functional component at at time.  However, the risk here is that the customer never wanted a car, and you build the wrong thing.

By contrast a startup has almost no resources, and is usually evaluated by customer growth rate.  This has the virtuous side effect that product is constantly being guided by customer need. In Startupville it's essential you are always building something the user wants to achieve their goals, in the car analogy, you'd progress by building a skateboard, then a scooter, etc.

Building skateboards is a no brainier at a startup, but may also be the optimum solution for your project at a fortune 500 company.

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