Business Magazine

Seven Maxims That Have Led to Startup Success

Posted on the 22 February 2011 by Martin Zwilling @StartupPro

success_newEven though I have seen many startups succeed, and many that failed, I still struggle with what really makes the difference. It seems like some CEOs are just more tuned in to the market realities, customer dynamics, people interactions, and are better leaders. But what does that really mean?

A while back I found some great business leadership insights in “The Secrets of Tuned In Leaders”, by Craig Stull, Phil Myers & David Meerman Scott. They did a series of interviews with CEOs to understand how technology companies create success, and why most fail. They found many similarities between the companies that are winning in the marketplace and those that are struggling.

But behind the scenes, seven critical success factors emerged. So pragmatic were these “secrets” that most of the CEOs treated them as nothing more significant than looking both ways before crossing the street. But we all know that looking both ways first can save your life.

Here is a summary of seven maxims that I excerpted from their e-book, which you can use in your startup and every entrepreneurial initiative:

  1. Work as a trusted customer advisor. The way today’s leaders create a sustainable, growing, and successful company is to instill a company culture of working as trusted advisors to prospects and customers alike. By first understanding market problems, then building the products people want to buy, and communicating to buyers an understanding of their problems, everything else falls into place.

  2. Build from the market outside-in. Tuned in leaders understand the complete picture of market problems before building products. They develop solutions in the context of the total customer experience. The most important thing they do is to live in the prospect’s world and look at all the touch points that matter.

  3. Simple is smart. The best companies create solutions that are narrow and deep. They organize around a single market problem and solve it completely with a solution that seems simple to the buyer, by obviously and most importantly handling all the related tasks in one easy step. Often, this means specializing in a single vertical market or industry.

  4. Leadership is distributed. Winning companies recognize it is better to distribute leadership and to employ a bottom-up strategic planning process that drives the business forward, than it is for functional senior managers to collaborate on decision making and push new strategies, processes, and plans out to the organization.

  5. Stop being a vendor. Tuned in leaders don’t push solutions at their customers and walk away. Instead, they develop programs to partner with their customers in the process of continuous problem solving. As a result, they garner high customer satisfaction rates. A formal customer relations program is the first step.

  6. Marketing with a big “M.” Leaders focus first on identifying market problems that exist and can be solved with technology, not just promotion and advertising. They organize around both understanding market problems, as well as what is more traditionally defined as outbound marketing (go-to-market strategy).

  7. Measure only what matters. They demand real measurements that help them run the business. Metrics must help answer questions such as: Should you increase spending to build new and innovative products? Should you expand your marketing programs? Develop new channels? Increase or decrease your marketing staff?

Executives and staff at most companies already are convinced that they are tuned-in (market driven). Their opinion, although interesting, is irrelevant. Think hard about how tuned-in you really are to these seven maxims? Looking all seven ways and listening carefully can save your career and the life of your startup.

Marty Zwilling

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Why Do My T-Shirts Get Holes in the Bottom?

    T-Shirts Holes Bottom?

    I was once in a client’s wardrobe doing a wardrobe therapy session and the smell of mothballs was overpowering. She had them all over... The post Why Do My... Read more

    12 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Imogenl
  • Why Do My T-Shirts Get Holes in the Bottom?

    T-Shirts Holes Bottom?

    I was once in a client's wardrobe doing a wardrobe therapy session and the smell of mothballs was overpowering. She had them all over her closet, hanging... Read more

    12 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Imogenl
  • Kiwi Cookies

    Kiwi Cookies

    (recipe adapted from Carol Hu)Ingredients:(A)Kinako flavour60g Cowhead salted butter40g fine sugar20g egg110g Blue Jacket Cake Flour10g Kinako(B)Matcha... Read more

    12 hours, 46 minutes ago by   Cathysjoy
  • George A. Romero – The Best Movies

    George Romero Best Movies

    George A. Romero - The Best Movies The horror genre recently lost one of its true visionaries, filmmaker George A. Romero. Romero began his career with a... Read more

    The 24 July 2017 by   House Of Geekery
  • Review: "BLACK!" (Athenaeum Theatre)

    Review: "BLACK!" (Athenaeum Theatre)

    Enthralling one-man show explores what it means to be black in America and the world I have a great respect and admiration for a performer who can hold an... Read more

    The 24 July 2017 by   Chicagotheaterbeat
  • And After the Break: Can Paris Prosper at London's Expense post-Brexit?

    After Break: Paris Prosper London's Expense post-Brexit?

    This is a package I put together for The National - which permits its reproduction here - on where Paris finds itself and hopes to be as a result of the... Read more

    The 24 July 2017 by   Colin Randall
  • Ebony Steele Gets New Talk Show Gig Will Replace the T.d. Jakes Show

    Ebony Steele Gets Talk Show Will Replace T.d. Jakes

    ChristianNews Ebony Steele, formerly of the Rickey Smiley Morning Show has got herself a new gig as a talk show host, on   “The Daily Blast Live,” a... Read more

    The 24 July 2017 by   Firstladyb