Focus Stories from SxSW
“Some players tackle to the left, some to the right. They need to be able to do both so we need to teach them what to look at and what to focus on.” Michael Cheika, The Australian Wallabies Coach (Rugby Union).
“Google Wave just tried to do too much too quickly. If we kept it focused it would have had a better chance.” Stephanie Hannon
I mentored five companies for Tech.Co and they all needed focus. Some of my tips;
- Ask yourself 20 questions to narrow down your first customer.
- Get 1 happy customer, then 10, then 100, then 1,000, then… — as per Kevin Kelly’s 1,000 true fans.
- If the sales cycle is long, how can you break it up into meaningful steps. Interest, demo, free trial, small paid pilot, rollout.
- Give yourself a deadline to focus. I need one paying customer in 48 hours. Who do I go for? What do I do?
- If you doubled your price, what bad customers would you lose, and good customers could you service better.
- What if you had to launch it tomorrow? What could you leave out? Leave it out and launch it.
“I see you, I love you” the simple, powerful message from the most interesting and articulate politician I’ve met in years, Corey Booker, New Jersey Senator.
Samantha and Heather from Geek Girl Rising have collected dozens of inspirational stories of women who have succeeded in tech despite there still being many challenges.
“One thing every entrepreneur struggles with is staying focused. You are your own boss and have dozens of priorities. Just do the most important thing first. Kwasi Asare
“When I fly I say would I be happy to die? Am I focusing on the right things? And it usually results in me saying no to more things.” Tim Ferris
“At one point I booked myself into a hotel down the street to just focus and get the book finished.” Cheryl Strayed, Author of Wild.
Ian Cumming, has focused on Travel Tech for ten years and is now a world leader, with Travel Massive.
“Whatever you think about China, if you haven’t been, you need to go. You need to see it to understand.” Bay McLauglin, Brinc.io
Huge thanks to Christian Magel for letting me staying at the house with the crazy gang Gina, Dean, Andy, Michael and Seb.