Focus in focus

Sometimes I meet a startup several months old, and the founder tells me: “We have moved these activities into a separate line of business. And here we provide our clients with a set of services. We have built a different working process for this customer segment.”

As soon as I hear this, I start thinking about the following. Your most valuable resource is your time. The more directions you open, the more types of clients you work with, the more extensive range of services you provide, the less focus you will have. The results will be predictable. Without your full involvement, nothing will take off.

Most often, that kind of “expansion” happens because we started with something that did not fly. Then we begin to come up with “additional ways of monetization” and “new directions” in order to compensate for this mistake. At the very beginning, your primary business model must work with the right conversion and the right unit economy. If it doesn’t work, change the model. Do not increase the number of business lines, customer segments, or monetization models. Under their load, the whole company will fall apart.

In short, the focus is everything. Do one thing at a time. If something doesn’t work, fix it. If your fix does not help, pivot. In the very beginning, you should change, not add.

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