Violence of action means the unrestricted use of speed, strength, surprise, and aggression to achieve total dominance against your enemy. – Cade Courtley
A Strategy for Startups
Founders, internalize this concept and apply it to your startups’ strategy. Startups can operate in ways that established businesses cannot. Adapt some of the principles of asymmetric warfare to your business.
Startups can release new features to market before larger competitors could even schedule the initial meetings. You can adapt to changing market conditions and respond in real-time to current events. In a 5 person company, a change in strategy requires a 15 minute meeting with everyone in attendance. In a 5,000 person company it takes a quarter of planning and a quarter to execute.
Startups by their very nature operate in relative stealth. Most likely you lack the budget for extensive PR and Marketing. Therefore, your competitors have limited information as to your existence, intent, and strategies. Use this advantage strategically and only come out of stealth when you’ve got your product, marketing, and sales process honed. You want to gobble up market share before your competitors have time to actively respond to your offerings.
You’re unable to overpower your competitor in a toe-to-toe slugfest, but you can use a precision assault to overpower their weak links. Startups can do things that don’t scale, over service your initial accounts, provide concierge support and custom development for your initial customers. Large companies can’t compete with the level of personalized service a startup give to their customers due to the amount of overhead they have to pay for and their larger customer base. So use the fact that you have lower overhead and a small initial group of customers to wow them into word-of-mouth referrals.
“Fight through the objective” by setting challenging weekly goals. Don’t stop short of whatever you planned, exceed it week to week. In your first weeks of existence, your objective might be completing a pitch deck or doing a certain amount of market research. Once you’re building your product, it might involve completing a certain number of story points in a sprint. As you ship MVP, you should set a challenging cadence for how many leads you call or follow up with each day. Pick a key performance metric that will drive the success of your business at its current state of maturity and CRUSH IT.
Building something from nothing is a no holds barred fight. Be relentless and capitalize on any advantage you have over your competition. Most importantly, don’t quit – you will fail a thousand times during the creation of your business – but as long as you get up and try again, you’re not out of the fight.