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Should I consider removing activities to improve efficiency?

When we're asked about feedback to improve something, we tend to talk first about new things to add. A new feature to a website, a new team in an organisation, a new dish on a menu.... but what if the website is already too stuffed? The organisation is already stretched? The menu already too long? Building doesn't necessarily requires to go high... but surely to bring value A study reported by Adams et al. in Nature shows that we naturally favour adding over substracting in decision making. And even more so when under stress, for example when we're multi-tasking, already busy with a primary activity. Can you think about how doing less adds more value than doing more? Stopping activities brings the fresh air and resources that allow you to be more productive in your main activities.
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I'm told that we've always done things like that, why change now?

We've all heard before that you shouldn't change a winning team and it's true to an extent. However in markets where changes are happening constantly, it's better not to have all your eggs in one basket or else you'll risk loosing it all to other businesses who keep innovating. I've always smoked, why should I change? Some habits are hard to kick indeed If an old habit is an excuse not to try something new, then that's sad. If you're not the person in charge, then your mission becomes to change that with tact and at the right time. Immediate change is sometimes impossible for processes that have been going on for ages, unless a disruption occurs (like a pandemic for example!). Be careful though of not breaking things that work: if you don't monitor closely the effect of changes then you could easily do unproductive changes that will hurt your business. Monitor and get feedback on your actions to make sure you're going in the right direction... an

My boss decided to kill my project, is he the right person to call the shot?

Pulling the plug on your own project is the most difficult decision even though it may seem simple and obvious to external people. Outsiders lack the affect and emotions that blind the founders, but are they the right people to call an end to projects? Don't let outsiders kill your project, make sure its value is clear to all and massive! A quick closure is always better than a slow death, in terms of both money savings and less pain. But killing all projects that are slow to grow isn't a solution either, as not all fast growing projects are successful in the long run. Be careful of whom takes a decision to kill a project: as a founder, make sure the value generated is crystal clear and such that it needs to be kept alive. If not, kill it yourself.

How can I talk objectively about my own entrepreneurial experiences?

 You often hear people talking about their successes like "We worked hard then voilĂ !" or "We've been very lucky because the next day customers were flocking up". Nice but not really helpful for people who want to learn from you! Not all successes are instant and easy, being more objective helps others... and yourself too! If you're pitching your idea to people, count how many presentations you make against how many people decide to invest in your project. It's often under 1%... It'll help you understand how you need to organise your sales to be more realistic in your predictions. You don't have to tell the truth to everyone about the internals of your business but being objective in your daily activities means recognising the truth and planning more accurately.

Why do people keep chasing other people's ideas?

The Internet is full of success stories of millionaires who started from nothing. It's so natural to want to copy them, follow their advice, replicate their actions... hoping that we may succeed in the same way. Vision is like hyperspace for Skywalker: a way to reach your far-sighted aim no matter what! Cut and paste formulas only enrich those who sell them. Success is linked to a large extent to luck (being in the right place at the right time) and most importantly to the inner voice of those who made thing move their way. Following overused concepts sold by random influencers is more likely to sidetrack and distract you. It's hard enough to keep track of your own product roadmap: follow your own learnings and your vision no matter what. But that's what pays off in the long run!

How can I balance my cashflow and my product development?

Unless you have a regular source of income that covers all of your product development spendings, you'll have to continuously make sure you don't overspend. This has hard consequences: postpone work that isn't top priority, be frugal when dealing with salaries, focus on revenue growth instead of quality. Bootstrapping a startup requires to make hard choices to preserve your cashflow! Cashflow is king for most startups: even if you hand team problems skilfully, maintain a upbeat pace compared to competitors, money problems are still able to kill your business relatively quickly. One way of handling this is to have several regular revenue streams that make it possible to invest in building a quality product over time even if you don't get any funding. Stable resources are the key to a sustainable product roadmap!

What are the factors that investors use to rank startups?

You may already have selected the key metrics you need to monitor your business and you may already be working towards optimising all of them. But this will never be enough if you're not scoring high on the ranking factors your potential investors are using. What's on your radar? Key ranking factors are a top priority! If you're a social media or a community, you need to have tons of users. Good for you if they're very active or extremely well segmented, but you'll be compared with other projects in terms of users, that's a given. If you're a business, then you Monthly Recurring Revenues are what counts, no matter what great customers and relationships you may have. It may sound simple but it's easy to be distracted with the many different factors that you may be tracking: make sure you investing relevant time and money towards the ranking factors that key investors expect from you.