Friday, June 12, 2015

Hey Start-up: Are you losing Focus?

Why did you found your start-up business? Was it to:

·         Deliver some benefit to your potential customers?
·         Fulfill your desire to be a successful entrepreneur?
·         Because you didn’t want to work for someone else?
·         Gain an elevated status in the society or among your peer group?
·         Make boatloads of money for yourself and your co-founders?
·         Or because you had a disruptive idea that you know would be a killer?

Whatever the reason, you had a solid motive and, perhaps, even greater commitment. The reason didn’t matter; it was only a spark that ignited the fire in you. What you did have was the burning desire to do it and you went about like a crazy person, thinking about it in the waking hours and dreaming about it in the sleeping hours.

And so, you got yourself some money through Friends, Family and Fools and set yourself up in a rental office to start & grow your business. You had high regard for people and great respect for your co-founders and co-workers. You believed in them as much as you believed in yourself. You knew that your idea is brilliant and that you, along with your little start-up, are going to just arrive in the market place with a big bang. You worked tirelessly in making that idea come to fruition, focusing totally on what needs to be done to make it a success.

But then, what happened? You got yourself some real money through VC investments and suddenly, your focus seems to have shifted. Somewhere along the line, you seem to have forgotten that you are playing with other people’s money. Don’t you know that they didn’t give you those millions because they love you? They gave it because they saw the potential in you & your idea, and they invested their money to increase its value and their worth.

So, what are you doing throwing those investors under the bus, instead of focusing on growing your Business? Wouldn’t you be better off estimating uniqueness, demand, benefits, utility, affordability & most importantly, serviceability of your product or service rather than taking your investors head on? The former is your strength whereas money is the investors’ strength. Do you recognize that?

You don’t want to fall into the trap of the “Dunning–Kruger cognitive bias” where you suffer from an illusory superiority (in an area that is not your strength) and too headstrong to realize it.

Go, focus on creating and delivering value, not destroying it!

Kall Ramanathan
ValueStrat Consulting @ValueStrat helps businesses understand where they are currently and what they need to do to get where they want to go. For this, we provide essential strategic plans and approaches, called “Keys”, to enable businesses to open up competencies, create value and deliver profitability.

ValueStrat gets to the DNA of business - Desire, Need and Ability - to help you ask some critical questions such as discussed above. Check out for more