By Matt Sprague (@sprague13)
As a thriving startup out of Manchester, NH, TestSoup has owned it’s share of ups and downs. The idea of getting it correct the first time is not realistic but the focus has always been to learn from mistakes and strive to be better each day. This post is one in a series of our perception of the start up world. Agree with it or disagree with it. Either way is OK because we already disclosed that we are not always correct. All we ask is that you join the discussion. Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.
Changing Perspectives & Staying on Your Toes
I am lucky that TestSoup is a portfolio company of Wasabi Ventures. With that relationship I have had the opportunity to take part in the Analyst / EiR (Entrepreneur in Residence) Training Program. Each class is focused on a different element of the Startup ecosystem. Our latest session was titled, “The 5 Red Flags of Startups”. We were assigned a task to write a quick summation of a take-away from that topic. This post is one thing that I garnered from the wealth of information and experience that was presented.
While entrenched in the day to day hustle and bustle of startup life, it is easy to miss the signs for a detour. The result is your startup could end up driving directly off of a cliff. Unless your are selling bungee cords, that is not beneficial. Take time periodically to change your perspective. Think like your customer or an investor to make sure your strategies are still relevant.
I was not a philosophy major in college but I went to a liberal arts school that required that I take a few classes to become a “lover of knowledge”. It was not my favorite class in the world, however I still remember one of the first concepts that the professor presented. The concept of perspective:
If a man is on a train (but he does not know it) and he looks out the window, it appears to him that the world outside is moving. If another man is outside watching the man in the train go by, it appears that the man in the train is moving.
Neither are completely correct. The physics is not important in this example. The idea is that life is completely different for every person depending on their perspective. In order to truly see what is going on, you need to look at things from as many angles as possible.
This lesson holds true in business. If you put your blinders on and don’t stay aware of what is going on, in all aspects of your business, then the world will be passing you by.