Last week I said to my husband, that I feel like I have this little baby that keeps crying and crying and won’t shut up! The baby is Ready Set Startup. And the crying is telling me it needs nurturing to keep it alive.
The way to keep a startup alive is momentum. Momentum is the pulse of the business. And to create momentum in a startup, we do stuff. Lots of it!
It is very much like having a little baby. When a business is new, nothing happens without the founder making it happen. The phone doesn’t ring, orders don’t come through the email, product doesn’t get created. It’s when we are doing lots of stuff to move our business forward that we feel like it is alive. [Tweet this] And when we are distracted by other parts of life, nothing seems to happen and the startup feels dead.
Steve Sammartino made an interesting observation about momentum on his blog. In physics, momentum is the product of the mass and velocity of an object. As a startup, we don’t have mass, we are not big. Therefore we have to focus on creating velocity (or speed). That is moving as quickly as we can, making every effort to start up fast.
So how do we use momentum to start up fast?
Part of the excitement (and stress) of a startup is that we are working with uncertainty. We don’t yet know what is going to work, so we need to have a massive action plan – that is, throw lots of stuff on the wall and see what sticks. I did use the word ‘PLAN’ here. We want to be strategic about the stuff we do, so we need to think about it, but the purpose of doing lots of stuff is to test our assumptions about what will work and then build and improve on the strategies that do.
This is something like having to make a path across the mud. We might lose it at times and get dirty going across, but we have our eyes on the destination. And as anyone who has crossed mud knows – we want to implement as quickly as possible. Not get bogged down, but keep moving forward.
My strategy at the moment is to look at the data I am getting from my efforts, make a decision about what the next move should be and test it as quickly as possible. Then my business feels alive and so do I!
What strategies are you using for creating momentum in your startup?