Today I was very happy to learn that mine was one of those chosen – and even happier that Seth gave a great, great answer:
A couple of reader questions:
John Koetsier, 22 Jan 07, for Seth: “I have a million startup ideas (ok, my potential biz list is about 20 ideas long) but limited time. What’s the best strategy: go deep on one idea, or try 3-4 simultaneously? Time is limited, obviously, money is as well. Rifle or shotgun: what would you do?”
I think this is a false dichotomy.
rifle implies all your eggs in one basket.
get it wrong and you go home.
shotgun implies that you throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks
half assed, in other words.
I think there’s a different approach.
We start by understanding that in any industry, there are dues to be paid, things to learn, people to know.
A base of code to be written, or concepts to understand.
If you go shotgun, you’ll resist that. You’ll flutter and flitter.
Always waiting in the supermarket line, switching lines,
never getting to the front.
So, I say, pay your dues. Concentrate your effort.
At the same time, understand that you will never be right about fashion.
You’ll never get the story perfect.
And if all your eggs are in one basket, you’ll study too much
you’ll test too much
and you’ll be afraid to go go go
and so, build your platform
and be sure your platform leaves room for many riffs, many shots, many attempts to get it right.
At Yoyodyne, we changed our business plan COMPLETELY every four or five months.
Our core beliefs stayed, our software base stayed, our people stayed
but our business changed.
end of riff
if i can attempt an echo.. be tight on the foundation; be loose on what you build off it
yeah, like that.
i agree that context is so important – content may change, emerge, whatever
Sounds like you need to have a foundation, but one that can float as opposed to being anchored.
it’s the attitude, Matt. If your attitude is, “we built this foundation, we will continue to reinvest in it, AND we will always be willing to radically change our story and our deliverables” then I think you win.
Wow. Thanks for that great, great advice, Seth. That’s really, really helpful.
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