Startups – Focus on the Business Model

Small World Group Incubator is now up and running in Singapore.  As we go about our formation actions, we keep reminding ourselves that these “businesses” we are starting up are going to have to really discover their own functioning business model during their first year if possible.

So often in Universities and other places the focus is on writing a good business plan.  But that is often quite futile in hindsight.  Plans are for when the business has established customers, long term relationships and so when a plan is executed it will produce an agreed upon result typically between the customers and the company.

But in a startup, you don’t have customers you have “potential customers” and that is very different.  A startup cannot offer their first customers the same things that are offered by others that is the road to disaster.  Existing companies already compete on that basis.  What they must offer is something radically new and better.  Better performance, better reliability, better sales model …

And that is most often discovered as a part of the process, it is typically not something that is planned.  Planning is still important before starting up but only so far as it guides efficient first steps but the plans must allow for pivots in direction based on customer feedback or product development unexpected outcomes.

The best version of this I have ever seen is in the following video by Steven Blank – watch it here.

Be patient, about 15 minutes into the talk he has set you for his take on business plans.

After you watch that, then take a look at his Blog … here is a particularly interesting post.

All this resonates with me and it well describes how we are approaching the Incubator over here in Singapore.

Posted in Essays, Investing, Singapore Incubator, StartUp Ideas

Leave a Reply