Via Ketel One

Startups can only do one thing well at a time

I recently wrote about why Amazon, FB and Google can be beaten. Even great companies can only do three things well at a time. The scarce resource is executive attention, and beyond the top three initiatives, you don’t get much executive attention.

It’s different for startups though. For startups the scarce resource is, well, resources.

You only have one top engineer. What is she working on? That’s your top priority by definition. Shouldn’t she be working with your 2nd and 3rd best engineers, and your top product manager also? You can’t afford to split up your best employees across multiple projects. When you’re competing with giants you have to put all your best resources against your sole priority. You can beat their C team with your A team. But you can’t beat their C team with your C team.

Focus. Do one thing incredibly well. Don’t spread your resources on too many priorities. That way you have a chance to win.

What’s your top priority? Reply in comments.

If you have more than one, you have some hard sledding ahead.


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