Achieving Startup Success: The Power of Insane Strategy Execution
As a startup consultant, I’ve often found myself gravitating towards one primary insight: the insane execution of strategy is often the missing link for many startup founders. The concept I want to explore here is what I’ve dubbed ‘manufacturing inevitable success.’
I am fully aware of the tremendous odds that founders have to contend with in their journey. From finance to customer acquisition, product development, forging the right partnerships – it’s a battlefield fraught with challenges and requiring a good measure of luck, not to mention an almost magical alchemy of factors working in one’s favor. Let’s acknowledge this reality and set it aside for the moment.
Now, consider this: what if we could streamline the execution of our strategy to such an extent that success becomes inevitable? Let’s unpack this idea.
Imagine your startup is about to launch in 90 days. You’re building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and you’ve set an initial target of acquiring 100 paying customers within the first 30 days of going live. This is a reasonable, measurable, and time-bound goal. The question then becomes: how can you make the attainment of this goal inevitable?
To achieve this, you need to dissect your goal into minute, actionable tasks that collectively contribute towards its realization. You need to ascertain how many people you need to engage one-on-one, how many you need to reach out to via cold emails, how many you should engage with on social media platforms, and how many ads you should deploy to meet your target. The trick is to break it down to such granular levels that the collective performance of these tasks assures the conversion of leads into a hundred paid users.
Let’s borrow a page from Elon Musk’s playbook. Musk, renowned as the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and for his audacious goals, swears by a principle he calls ‘First Principles Thinking.’ In essence, it involves breaking down complex problems into their most basic elements and then reconstructing them from the ground up. This strategy has been instrumental in his achieving what others deemed impossible. In our case, this might mean distilling our goal down to the number of conversations or ad impressions required to secure a new user.
The method of ‘manufacturing inevitability,’ then, is essentially about reducing your grand vision to a series of simple, executable tasks. When this practice becomes embedded in your everyday operations, success ceases to be a matter of chance and instead transforms into a matter of time. By breaking down your strategy execution into smaller tasks, success becomes not an uncertainty but an eventuality.