How To Focus Your Company, Target Customer, and Product

Mastering Focus: Strategies for Startup Success

A.T. Gimbel
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October 24, 2023

Mastering Focus: Strategies for Startup Success

Focus is hard at an individual level, but the challenges compound at a company level. Here are a few ways to bring focus in your business based on some common themes I hear from entrepreneurs.

Company Focus

I often ask entrepreneurs what their company does.  A lot of companies answer with a macro focus … we are an “AI company” “Crypto company” “[insert technology] company.” While that technology may be a great enabler, it doesn’t focus you on what problem you are solving and how to apply that technology. Be able to clearly articulate what your company does (and does not) do. I love my partner Kathryn O’Day’s take on a crisp statement here.

Customer Focus

I often ask entrepreneurs who their target customer is. A lot of people answer that it is everyone, or they list several different customer segments. While that may be true in a future state, early on you need laser focus on a specific customer segment to really understand the problem, create a compelling value proposition, and serve their needs better than competitors. In the beginning, really focus on a specific customer segment to build momentum.

Product Focus

I often ask entrepreneurs what is on their product roadmap or what is the most important thing to build next. A lot of people provide a list of many different features. While those may all be valuable, which ones provide the most value/effort and will help drive future sales/increase retention. I also like to understand where the feature feedback came from. Customers often ask for more features to solve problems, but that may not be the right answer. I also look for consistency in feedback across multiple customers versus just one customer screaming loudly.

In the end, your superpower as a startup is your speed. Be laser focused on a specific must-have problem, customer segment, and 10x better solution. If you try to serve too many customers and build too many features, you dilute your speed and run up against resource challenges that large companies have an advantage over you. Just focus!

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