Course Curated By: Dr. G. Danford (London Business School MBA, Helsinki School of Economics PhD)
Advice Before Starting
The only proven method for measuring learning is to take a pre-quiz and post-quiz of the content.
Content: Scaling Growth
- Why retention matters most for growth
- The ‘North Star’ concept of growth
- The ‘Magic Moment’
- The ‘Sean Parker’ virality model
- The ‘Two-sided Marketplace’ virality model
- The ‘K Factor’ model
- The three keys to effective SEO
- To survive the ‘Early Stare’ struggle, you need to, (a) make sure there is enough cash and, (b) clearly establish there’s product/market fit.
- If retention metrics are not favorable, don’t go into growth tactics, virality mode, or hire a growth hacker (focus on getting product-market fit).
- Retention is the single most important thing, and it comes from: a great idea, a great product to back up that idea, and great product-market fit.
- What is the ‘magic moment’ for your product/service, and how to get people connected to that ‘magic moment’ as fast as possible?
- The founders needs to be focusing on the ‘North Star’.
- Choosing a random co-founder or someone you don’t have a long business history with, will result in trouble.
1. Startup Life-cycle
- Stage 1 Early Struggle – a stage where two-thirds of all startups won’t make it through to the next stage. To avoid that outcome you need to, (a) make sure there is enough cash to keep going and, (b) clearly establish that there is a market for your product or service (product/market fit).
- Stage 2 Fun – a stage that requires a Visionary to drive the business, and a ruthless Operator to deliver. Your key focus moves from cash to sales, and the business builds exponentially in a time of rapid, second-stage growth.
- Stage 3 White Water – a stage during which the Visionary and the Operator can no longer continue to improvise in what they are doing. The degree of complexity required reaches a tipping point. Systems and processes are required. A Processor (policies, systems etc.), is needed: someone who lives by spreadsheets. Strong implementation actions are also needed, and actions to make them stick.
- Stage 4 Predictable Success – a stage during which a business can scale successfully. This is the most critical stage in your organization’s growth. You need to set and consistently achieve your goals and objectives with a predictable and consistent degree of success. At this stage there are often weak-signals suggesting a decline in creativity, risk taking and initiative.
- Stage 5 Treadmill – a sub-optimal stage. At this point systems and processes begin to choke entrepreneurship, risk-taking, adventure and creativity. Treadmill is characterized by too much emphasis on data, and not enough emphasis on actions.
- Stage 6 The Big Rut – a stage from which there may be no turning back. High market share + Prolific revenue stream + Paternalistic management + Denial = Big Rut. At this stage processes and administrative procedures are more important than actions or results, and the organization loses its ability to be self-aware.
- Stage 7 Death…a final chance at life through bankruptcy or acquisition, before the organization dies in its present form.
2. Startup Roadmap
In the early stages of a startup, the roadmap gives directions for both the short-term and long-term. The roadmap can assist in completing necessary tasks and also anticipating potential challenges. A business-driven roadmap is all about asking ‘why.’ Asking ‘why’ gets to the heart of customer and market motivation. Aligning the “whats” and ‘hows’ of business to the ‘whys’ drives the product, supports team motivation and ultimately success.
Steps In Roadmap
- Validation (with outlier customers).
- Creation – Pivot? (or iterations).
- Repeatability (business model reworking, surviving near-death).
- Scalability (team upgrade necessary?).
- Profitability? (growth vs. leverage).
Michael Skok, Harvard i-lab
NOTE: this video will start and stop at the pre-assigned times 10:55-15:37
Facebook’s monthly user base is now larger than the population of China. Monthly active users (MAUs) were 1.44 billion in March 2015, +13% year-over-year (mobile 1.25 billion).