Sunday, July 07, 2013

Your startup's advantage is tempo

Why do startups succeed?

They have fewer people.

They have fewer resources.

They have less brand recognition.

Most founders are smart, but incumbents have smart people too.  That's usually how they became incumbents.

The answer, and your startup's fundamental advantage is tempo.

We usually call it speed or agility, but speed and agility are capabilities, not strategies.  Tempo is a strategy.

In music, tempo is the pace that you set.  To succeed as a startup, you have to set and maintain a faster pace than the incumbent.

If the incumbent releases updates every quarter, you need to release updates every month.  Or week.  Or day.

It's hard to maintain a faster tempo than the incumbent.  But if you don't, you don't have a sustainable competitive advantage.

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