Startup Strategy

Question: 

I want to launch my own startup. What should be my strategy?

Gary's Answer: 

What strategy you use depends on where you are. All strategies are dependent upon the unique and changing conditions in your environment. It also depends upon your goals.

Logically, how you proceed, that is, your choice of strategy, depends initially upon where you are and where you want to go. However, unlike planning a trip on a map, your course will depend on the conditions that you discover along the way. You cannot “plan” a strategy. The basic nature of strategy is adapting to the situations you discover on your way to your goals.

However, there is a general method to implementing strategy, that is, a way by which you make the easiest progress toward your goals. You choose to move into “openings,” that is, positions that no one else occupies. You seek to develop positions that people will support rather than oppose. You look for “openings” where you satisfy a need that no one else is addressing.

As a startup, what need you address depends upon the skills and resources you have. Choosing the right opening is a matter of good “aim.” You don’t aim at targets that you do not have the skills or resources to hit. You also do not aim at targets that others who are better situated are already working to hit. You choose targets that are near where you are, that you can see clearly.

Start small. In the beginning, you don’t have the resources to attack big needs. Even if you discover a great way to address a big need, if you don’t have the resources you need to fill it, someone else with those resources will come along an co-opt your methods.