The Curse of Options.
Once you’ve uncovered a market need and created a solution to fill the void you’re hit with the day-to-day realities of running a business. For many founders this is a swift kick out of the founder’s mindset into a management mindset.
Although both are important for your long-term success, it can be hard to retain your closeness to your customer base as you’re pulled in different directions.
Jason Polstein, one of the founders of Rip-It Sports, described the curse of options that presented itself after they created the business and started growing. As driven founders, he described how he and his brother were thinking about “hundreds of strategies, expansions, shifts and iterations” they wanted to accomplish on any given day. Nailing down what direction to take your business in and what your next step should be can be hard when you reach this level. When presented with more and more options, our brains have to work harder to whittle down to the right ones. It can be exhausting at best and detrimental to the future of your company at worst.
What’s helped Rip-It and what can help you if you find yourself faced with this same challenge is focusing on your big why. You set out to meet a need for a particular group of people. If your decisions about what to produce next or how best to produce it are singularly focused on your customer, you have some sort of compass by which to more easily eliminate the wrong options. In order to get Rip-It refocused and lessen the burden of the curse of options on their founders, we worked with them to do a couple of things:
- Create brand clarity
- Refocus leadership
- Understand the customers
- Design effective market strategies
- Capture meaningful data
As a founder you’ll never fully eliminate the curse of options in running your business, but by being intentional about organizing your thinking and processes around the most value adding assets your company has, your customers, you create a sustainable environment. Decision-making becomes clearer when your purpose and intent are true to the market.