What’s your riskiest assumption?
Read enough startup advice content and you’ll inevitably run across the advice that Focus is critical to success. Founders need to focus on one priority, one goal and relentlessly pursue it if they want to be successful.
That advice is correct. In theory.
Most startup advice is actually correct in theory.
The question though is – what to focus on? What should be the priority? What mental model are we using in order to figure this out?
What I’ve learned from working with founders (and experienced myself when building my startup) is that without a framework in place for making this advice actionable, we entrepreneurs tend to gravitate toward activities we like, are good at, or seem immediately important (whether they are or not). So product-focused founders build more features. Marketing-focused founders work on their social media accounts. The logo and website get perfected. The founders attend lots of startup and business networking events.
I like to operate in the world of tactical, rather than theoretical advice.
So here’s a simple framework for figuring out where to focus.
What is your riskiest assumption? What is the thing you believe to be true in your business or business model that 1) you haven’t tested yet and 2)if you’re wrong, could kill your business?
The answer to this changes over time as your business develops, but there is always a riskiest assumption.
And this is ALWAYS the thing you should focus on. Always.
It’s usually the hardest, scariest thing. And it’s always the thing that needs your attention right now.
So what is your riskiest assumption? What can you do today to re-prioritize your tasks for the week to test/validate/experiment around that assumption?
Each day, I publish an idea I'm working on, highlights from a founder coaching session, or other tidbits from my work with founders, investors, corporate partners, and accelerators. Check out the Hustle+Fire blog for more.