[FoRK] startups vs swordplay
dave.long at bluewin.ch
Mon Jul 26 05:48:15 PDT 2010
Steve Blank's definition of a startup is "an organization formed to
search for a repeatable and scalable business model", and he points
out that it is critical to this search to "get outside the building",
to engage with customers.
This is actually very similar in practice to fencing, and as far as I
can tell, to kendo.
Touching someone else with a sword is not so difficult in itself, the
difficulty arises in finding a way to do so without being touched
In sword sports, then, there are attacks, and there are also
preparations for an attack. The former had better score, whereas the
latter serve to discover the opportunities to make the former. The
trick is to prepare with sufficient intensity to reveal an
exploitable opening, yet -- as one doesn't know, a priori, where it
may be -- still have enough agility to change actions into the
revealed opening and commit to the attack.
Similarly, a startup, instead of putting pressure on an opponent
through engagement, searches for traction in a marketplace through
engagement. The trick is to search with sufficient intensity to
reveal a repeatable business model, yet -- as one doesn't know, a
priori, what it may be -- still have enough agility to pivot into the
revealed business and commit to scaling.
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