Category: Strategy & Planning

business plan

Your Initial Business Plan is a Huge List of Assumptions

While in the coffee shop with your co-founder and blank sheets of paper for brainstorming you are in what I refer to as the “hope, vision, promise and potential” phase. …

Read More
advisor value

Extreme Value-Based Pricing

Many of us that sell products have learned about value-based pricing and the benefits from pricing our product based on the value the customer actually receives.  But I’m still amazed...

Read More
bootstrapping

How Long Should You Bootstrap?

With as little as it costs to get a software startup off the ground these days, many entrepreneurs start off as what we call “bootstrappers” rather than fundraisers.  There’s nothing…

Read More

Use Mock Layoffs for a Well-Oiled Machine

It’s amazing how success can cause numerous blind spots for managers and executives.  The greater the success, the more severe the blind spots.  As an advisor I sometimes poke on…

Read More
customer success

Your Most Valuable Resource

When I ask entrepreneurs what their most valuable resource is, I ALWAYS get one of two responses: money (aka – funding, cash) or people.  And it’s hard to argue about…

Read More

Golden Rules For Really Tough Times

Many (probably most) startups go through periods of extremely little cash in the bank and with visions of crashing and burning before being able to recover.  Unfortunately, crashing and burning…

Read More
management system

Establishing a Management System

I know what you’re thinking.  “We don’t even have 20 employees, so why do we need a management system?”  You might be thinking this because you previously worked for a larger…

Read More
market sizing

Sizing Your Market

Market sizing is a very important element of your business plan and pitch deck.  The size of your market a question you’ll get asked all the time by investor prospects. …

Read More
code names

Cool Code Names

How cool is it to use a code name for an important project rather than “version 2.5” or “next gen”?  Same for a game-changing initiative that will fundamentally change the…

Read More
product roadmap

Prioritizing Your Product Roadmap

If you already have an experienced product manager on your team, they are probably/hopefully following some well-established product management process. But what about the early days of company formation before…

Read More

Visualizing the Interactions Between CAC, Churn and LTV

Anyone that has taken an accounting class or learned basic business financials knows the interaction between key elements of a P&L (revenue, cost, expense) and a balance sheet (assets, liabilities,…

Read More
maintaining focus

Tools for Maintaining Focus

Regardless of a company’s size and stage, maintaining focus is often a critical success factor.  This doesn’t suggest nimbleness and flexibility are bad.  Quite the opposite, as focus and flexibility…

Read More
unfair advantage

An Unfair Advantage All Startups Have Against Big Companies

It’s not innovation or company culture or a desire to win.  Those are important but successful big companies have at least some of those things too.  It’s nimbleness (aka –…

Read More
setting strategy

Try Strategy Horizons Versus a Timeline

Here’s the scenario.  You’ve got people asking you to express your strategy as a set of milestones extending through a certain amount of time.  This puts you in the mindset…

Read More
startup scalability

The Difference Between Growth and Scalability

Experiencing rapid growth is different from having scalability.  Growth is either an aspiration or something actively being experienced while scalability is a capability that may or may not get exercised.  Growth...

Read More

Why Use a GPS When a Compass Will Do?

I guess the corollary to this could be “don’t use a compass when the precision of a GPS is needed”.  In fact, the main point is to use the best…

Read More
tracking progress

A Simple Back-of-Napkin Assessment of Company Progress

I don’t have anything against a traditional SWOT analysis but recently found myself helping a couple of startups figure out how they are progressing against their business plan and vision. …

Read More

You Never Know What Operational Metrics You’ll Need – So Instrument Everything

It happens over and over and over again.  A company has a successful growth spurt and is ready to ratchet up to the next level.  They are sitting around a…

Read More