What we learned from cycling

Le Tour is underway, and Team Sky is the best team at Stage 13. They get to dress in yellow for now.

Team Sky in Yellow

The intricacies of endurance cycling strategy are incredible. For example, Marcel Kittel’s (190 lbs) is to be a sprinter and wear the green jersey, while Chris Froome’s (150 lbs) is to ride for general classification (GC) and wear the yellow jersey. A sprinter’s fitness objective is to be heavy and muscular, while a GC rider’s is to be light and almost skinny. In fact, Froome’s Pinarello Dogma F8 bike has a recommended max rider weight of 154 lbs. Kittel would break it!

Take a look at a bike team’s strategy during a sprint:

Endurance cycling and startups aren’t too different (one group’s a lot fitter). Both attempt to endure sprints through peaks and valleys without a crash.

We decided to copy a Le Tour cycling team

It takes time to articulate a mission and strategy, we didn’t have it till almost 18 months into the process. Even mature companies tweak it as they question their purpose.

Mission (Eg: Build a great cycling team): Build a decentralized, autonomous knowledge organization that can deliver insights in any topic.

Strategy (Eg: Help team win green jersey vs yellow): Help companies drive new revenue through academic insights.

Roadmap: (Eg: Steeper gradient needs mountain specialists): The roadmap specifies design considerations to accomplish the strategy as we learn them from our customers:

Playbook (Eg: Stay behind Team Quickstep until mile 40): A playbook gives everyone confidence. Confidence that everyone else has been empowered to make the right decision themselves. The peloton doesn’t pull up on the side of the road to regroup when it starts to rain or someone blows their tire.

Playbooks help the team self-decide that customer requests like APIs can’t be tackled today.

On that note, check out how we’ve done! This playbook helped us start and finish on the front page of ProductHunt.

We wrote this for

  • Anyone early in the process trying to find their rhythm
  • Anyone later in the process who wants to leave feedback!
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