Unfolding the Map
I heard two similar catchphrases last
week, both from entrepreneurs I respect, that are diametrically
1. If you don´t have a map, you can’t get lost
2. If you
don´t have a map, you can’t get where you’re going
How to reconcile the
two? I think the answer is stage of company. In the early days of a business,
being too rigid on what you’re building and how you interact with your customer
set can doom you. You have to be nimble! Spry! Not care exactly what your
endgame is, as long as it’s good.
As your business grows and you have a
customer base to support and numbers to hit, having too much product development
wanderlust across the organization will kill you. You have more people at more
levels in the organization who need more direction and goal-setting in order to
stay effective and productive.
The trick is having enough of a map in the
early days to not get completely defocused, and having enough flexibility in the
map later on to switch routes if there’s traffic ahead.