For most organizations (startup or otherwise) building momentum might be the #1 goal. Increasing momentum on revenues, margins, customers, transactions, data-footprint etc etc.
A big part of it comes down to choosing which opportunities to go after and which one’s to drop (even if for now). Of course there are multiple other factors too – the team, the why, the market, the GTM etc etc etc. But today, I am focused only on choosing your projects/initiatives wisely.
I was thinking of what could be a very simple framework for Building Momentum within a venture or team – Filter by Scale, Sort by Velocity
Given its origin in Physics wherein momentum is the product of mass and velocity its about maximizing for scale (impact or size of the opportunity) and speed-of-execution (or feedback-cycles, gestation-period etc).
I have found myself doing a lot of non-scale projects. Sometimes its the engineer and the problem solver in me that gets excited. Other times its just me rushing head-on rather than taking a pause and checking if this is really a good problem to solve. Is this a big problem?
So a quick 2-step framework :
- Filter by Size. This is critical because even a small problem sometimes needs the same amount of time, money and commitment to solve. So choose wisely. One could sort the growth opportunities in a descending order and start with the first one, but in my experience it may not be very wise for two reasons. a) The biggest impact/scale opportunity may be daunting, really tough nut to crack. b) It may be a slow-track. Hence, I suggest you identify a cut-off and any opportunity that has a higher scale is in the consideration set.
- Sort by Velocity. Within this filtered set of opportunities, sort by the ones that have higher velocity. And pick the top ones. As Reid says in Blitzscaling, prioritise speed of execution. The short feedback loops usually lead to quicker iterations and open up a path to those key metrics we chase – customers, transactions, revenues, margins etc.
I do understand, that this may be over simplification of how to choose projects, but I like simple frameworks as a starting point.
Lemme know what you think ?
Note that it is velocity and not speed. So there really is such a thing as positive and negative momentum !