Death of a startup

Before you know, your seconds have been consumed by every little details of your work. Details that don’t matter in a week, in a month, in a year from now. You can keep getting consumed by all the little details of this world, in a way you don’t see your days and months getting over. You can do thousand inconsequential things and go nowhere.

What kind of questions do you chase? What’s your biggest priority? You just want to get something done or want to find an answer that can change stuff? Do you want to go deep and find insights or just finish things?

You have to do inconsequential things, things in the background — but it can’t be your obsession. Your obsession should be about realizing the vision that you have. Part of that is chasing questions, insights, wisdom — like what messages your customers respond to, what do your customers want, what triggers their behavior — not putting that email blast or Facebook group post for the sake of it. Every effort should be about finding something that will move you forward.

Only ideas that constantly yearn for changing the way things are done, ideas that don’t accept current rates of success, ideas that keep focussing on moving things forward, ideas that questions current conversion rates and try to figure out ways to improve , ideas that challenge the norms — only such ideas change the game for every one.

Execution without intent to improve, is execution for the sake of execution. Execution to achieve “standard” results is a task worth for “automation”. Execution which has an intent to improve, intent to understand how things work, intent to find new insights, intent to test components of a system in order to progress, intent to improve value, intent to change the way execution is done — that alone can help you learn, progress and produce work that makes a difference in the long run.

Plain execution is for “normal”. Period. It’s for the biggies. I even doubt that. In a startup plain execution means death. It means you are not learning and improving and it means death.

What is the starting point of these challenging ideas? If you want to increase user numbers, then don’t accept current rates. In a startup, you don’t afford industry standards. You have to squeeze your current options. And squeeze them more. You can find new channels. All come from ideas that challenge the norm.

The tendency to give up, the tendency to accept “normal standards”, the tendency that nothing great or new to be found , the tendency that nothing big can happen or change can be attained — that’s a death of a startup. You have lost the game with that attitude even before you started. If your team believes that nothing great can be done in the scope of their work, that they can’t achieve anything more than “normal”, you have lost the game already.

Your ideas should be about challenging the norms, your execution should be about learning and growing — this is the oxygen for you and your team. This is the only way you can grow.