Friday, January 23, 2015

Focus, Focus, Focus! A Startup Mantra
Friday, January 23, 2015

Focus, Focus, Focus! A Startup Mantra

"Focus!" says Kimble Wan. "Focus! Focus! That's what Aki tells us." We're glad that Kimble, founder of Jibao, has learned this important lesson in his startup venture. In the beginning of many startup ventures, we often help to try to find the team's North Star. A basic direction and focus that the venture will be about. In some cases, it's what the founders what to be about. This is akin to finding a vision and mission statement.

Jibao Team. From left to right: Tony, Hai Chen, Chloe, Augus and Aki,
discussing a new build for Jibao's March 2015 release.
After finding your North Star, the founders and team are off to the races. Along the way, they are often distracted and lose their way. Typically, this is because they've now tried to step out of the building in an effort to learn about the marketplace and their audience. At this moment, a common occurrence is for the founders to get too much feedback from friends, audience, VCs, consultants and other well meaning people. The result is often the confusion from all the shiny keys. Like a cat in a youtube video chasing every shiny object available, the typical co-founder goes through the same motions of chasing a seemingly endless supply of opportunities.

These are indeed false idols and should be recognized as such.

Step 1: Find Your North Star

Step 2: Focus

Step 3: When in doubt, refer to Step 2 - Focus!

The most tempting advice is when an esteemed advisor tells you of another great idea, or another trend they read about recently on a blog or in the startup media, and then suggest you should follow that idea. Have the courage to follow your North Star, and then have the determination to stay focused. What is focus? Executing your plan against your North Star. Remember this isn't an annual goal necessarily, but instead what is the focal point of the startup.

In the case of Jibao, it's all about providing an educational tool for teachers, our greatest resource and influencers on our children, the next generation of movers and shakers. (See and Jibao Blog)

You have a limited amount of money, time and effort. Stay the course, stay focused and good things will happen!