Little Summaries of Company Building: Part 1
Observations from experiences on company building:
- Customer Centricity: At every stage of the startup, customer-centricity helps. A successful product is one that solves a customer pain. Simple. Departments, teams, and everything else is secondary. The entire company structure should have the customer at the center. Three ways to segment have worked out well:
- How to get the customer?
- How to service the customer?
- How to grow the customer?
- Correct Pricing: Getting pricing right early on is quite an effort. But worth it. It is a huge time-saver and shortens the time to scale. Keep unit economics in mind from day one. Money talks.
- 360-Degree Loops: Create super-short feedback cycles. Maintain extreme disciple in review structure, but don't let it become burdensome. Quick course correction creates many small reasons for a big win.
- Talent Growth: Maintain a careful sync between company growth and people growth. Else, you will lose the best performers. This means a different growth passage for each individual. If you can master this, you will not only keep your best longer but also pull the best talent from outside. By doing this, you match human desire to result.
- Longevity & Loyalty: Figure out how to make people stay longer. And inspire genuine passion to create loyalty. Both of these act as a multiplier on growth. Resident knowledge creates a shorter cycle time resulting in faster growth.
- Process Simplicity: Create only the needed processes from day one. Keep them simple. Crude is okay. Ditch fancy tools and elaborate systems. Paper, whiteboards, and spreadsheets work fine. Get going, improve later. An efficient set of processes will let you focus on the most important thing. Building a great startup.
- External Leverage: Ambitious founders seek constant external inputs. From advisors, board members, investors, and friends. Guess one big reason why external inputs fail most of the time? Lack of context. Regular updates are a good starting point. The secret is to somehow bring them "inside". Imagine an invisible person sitting around in an office observing how you do things. The more they know the context, the more pointed their inputs will be. You focus on doing. And let them observe and think. The quality of inputs will become situation-specific.
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