In the fast paced world of startups it’s easy to get caught up in the need to go, go, go and build, build, build. Often though, we as Entrepreneurs and Founders, need to take a step back and look at what we want to do and achieve. This, in essence was the topic of Chandini Ammineni’s presentation at last years StartCon event.
For those of you who have not heard of Chandini before, she is the Hacker-in-Residence and Distribution Manager at 500 Startups in Silicon Valley. Prior to joining 500 Startups she was the Co-Founder and CEO of ActivityHero and also worked as a freelance growth marketer in the valley.
Presenting to the attendees at StartCon 2016 Chandini highlighted that the number one mistake of startups is trying to do too much, with too few resources.
And while it may sound simple, “most startups die because they are not disciplined”.
In fact, Chandini related this to going to the gym. We all know it is good for us. We all “want” to do it. But every few of us have the commitment to actually get out of bed week in, week out and commit to the training.
Startups need to bring this same level of discipline and focus to their goals. They need to prioritise their actions and allocate resources to the goals that are most important to their success. Prior to achieving product market fit these goals should focus on engagement and retention. “It is only when you have a sticky product that you should focus on growth”.
Post Product Market Fit is when you can start to get the flywheel going and work to identify the levers that are going to drive top line revenue. When you have lots of ideas however you need to identify the one that is right/most relevant for you at that point in your startup’s journey. To achieve this Chandini recommended taking the approach that Sean Ellis has popularised and use the ICE framework. With ICE you rank ideas (1 to 5) based on the following categories:
- IMPACT – How much impact will this idea have for your startup
- CONFIDENCE – How confident are you that you can execute this idea
- EASE – How easy can you implement this idea
After ranking all of your ideas you then prioritise the one with the highest ICE and get to work on executing on that idea.
In summing up her presentation Chandini had one other crucial piece of advice. Unless you do this again, and again, and again it’s not going to work. That’s because the mindset of a Growth Hacker has to be about experimenting, testing and re-testing.
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