[FoRK] startups vs swordplay
Stephen D. Williams
sdw at lig.net
Mon Jul 26 11:18:36 PDT 2010
On 7/26/10 5:48 AM, Dave Long wrote:
> 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.
Finally, I can put my (brief) kendo training to use! Maybe I should
hang on to my bogu set.
Startups vary greatly in whether they have a strong target, technology,
and/or solution and at what level. Some need to go for the spaghetti,
others for the lucky break or the nearby low-hanging fruit, and others
just need to focus and fill the hole everyone is ignoring.
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