Victus Spiritus


Offer several products and you're a salesmen, sell an impossible dream and you're a visionary

05 Feb 2011

Internal Startup Signals

The web is littered with dozens of articles covering negative and positive startup signaling due to investor participation by round, but there aren't nearly as many focused on internal startup signals and strategy. By signals I refer to sum of all communications both planned and accidental, internal (culture) and external (marketing).

After working on sprint projects (days to months) for a year and a half, I've seen more than my fair share of mishaps. Failures are discrete learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, and those who've broken through to the other side capitalize on errors by combining action and observation. With each mistake they learn another valuable lesson about building a company or their market. One design lesson I realized in my own missteps is the essential need for a driving long term product vision.

The power of a single cohesive story begins with attracting cofounders and early hires, and leads to landing pivotal partners and customers. Prototypes don't require the features and polish of a finished product, but each step must be part of a story for realizing the startup's raison d'etre or reason for existence. Curious side projects have little hope of exceeding the critical threshold to becoming real, unless they can be aligned to an overarching company purpose.

President John F. Kennedy didn't pitch building better rockets to the American people by showing them a handful of designs, he authoritatively addressed congress in 1961 declaring a national goal of "landing a man on the Moon".