Or as Google said in their ten commandments for all hopeful start-ups, “It’s best to do one thing and do it well”.
Ask yourself, what does my product do? If the answer can’t be summed up in one line, then you’re overstretched. Speed and dynamism are the hallmarks of all great unicorn enterprises and by extending the features of a product, you only slow the process and dramatically increase the risk of failure.
As any entrepreneur will say, bringing an idea to market involves a mountain of work and requires unabashed devotion and dedication. However, that’s only in terms of bringing one idea to market. It’s insane to consider spreading- what are already pretty thin resources- across development of multiple functionalities etc. Define the scope of the product, keep it simple and stick to it.
Traditionally, economies of scale are a privilege reserved for larger firms that can leverage unit costs over a sizeable production output. However, the basic principle applies to all enterprises; the more you do something, the better you become at it. By limiting what that thing is, you increase the speed at which you can do it and thus increase the speed at which you improve at it. The benefits of scaling cannot be overstated for a start-up.
9/10 start-ups fail. That’s a scarily high failure rate and there are a multitude of reasons why, but largely it’s because the idea or opportunity isn’t grounded in a market need. Enterprises spend massive amounts of R&D funding developing products that quite simply aren’t sufficiently attractive. If you need to add multiple features to a product to make it attractive, it’s highly likely that the basic concept is faulty. Start-ups need to be confident that their minimum viable product has value. Increasing the amount of features only deepens the chasm of wasted capital.
It can be a tough process to narrow down what you considered to be a sophisticated and valuable proposition to the bare essentials. We advise that the enterprise sit down, and write out a list of their unique core competencies, and then another based on the fundamental characteristics of the market demand. The one thing that the company should focus on is what exists as an overlap between these two list; the core concept. By approaching it this way, the enterprise can minimise the risk of specialising on the wrong thing.
Overall, enterprises need to focus on value adding activities. In doing so, it’s important not mistake adding functions that appear valuable, with actual value adding functions. Often the last minute addition to the blueprint causes untold hassle and complications that ultimately distract from the overall message and vision, putting the entire enterprise in jeopardy.
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