I listened to an early-stage founder pitch his company this week. He’s passionate about his space, has founder–market fit, has built a great solution, and has acquired a material number of paying customers. I assumed he was positioned for rapid growth. But then I realized that may not be the case.
The founder’s core product is software that solves a specific problem for a specific type of organization. In his pitch, he explained that he’s branching out into other types of offerings to support his target customer: professional services, coworking, and a variety of other unrelated business lines. Each of these non-software business lines will require a different skill set that this founder will have to learn or hire for. He’ll also have to devote resources to incubating and growing each of them. If he executes on all of them, he and his team will likely be spread thin. And the core software solution won’t grow as fast as it could.
The key to success is to focus. Do one thing extremely well. Once you’ve achieved outsize success, then you’ll have the resources (and time) to diversify into other areas.
Regardless of the path this founder takes, I have no doubt that he’ll be successful. If he chooses to focus, I think he’ll turbocharge his path to success.