Lots of people have ideas. Some act on them. Fewer still know what to do when they encounter hurdles. There are lots of lists online that tell you why your business may be stagnant. At Thinker Ventures, what we’ve learned is perhaps the biggest reason stares you in the face every morning. Here are three key reasons businesses stop growing:
Most people are in love with an idea but don’t spend much time figuring out how the idea can make money and be sustained. You may want to make the best hamburger in the world, and give no thought on how anyone but you will ever make that hamburger, how people will find out about the best hamburger, where will they buy it, at what price, so that you can fund research, production, marketing… Solid businesses can support solid ideas. Solid ideas alone are just that … solid ideas. Solid businesses need strategy – ideas are only the starting point.
Many people want to do things themselves so they can take the credit. Or, they don’t want to expose their own inadequacies. Or, they want to collect all the money. In all of those cases, the natural outcome is that the business will only get as large or as successful as the one person’s ability to manage all the moving parts. Imagine a continuum from bicycling, to riding in a car, to flying in a plane. There are more distinct components that come together in a plane than in a car, and likewise more in a car than a bike. However, each leap in complexity and moving parts requires significantly more people to make it happen. The benefit is that a plane will carry more things over a longer distance much faster than a bike will. If you want to go around your city, a bike may do. Want to go around the world? You need a plane. Your small company can perform with just you. Want to do more? It requires more than one person can handle.
Many people are in love with the pride that comes from their idea. They need to be the special sauce that holds it all together. Most truly amazing companies require execution from many people who can contribute at a high level. Not being alone requires vulnerability, discovering someone else is better, or your idea needs to be refined. It’s emotionally less painful to be alone until you find that doesn’t work. Hopefully, that’s discovered before the idea and business suffer too much. Growing alone and doing things yourself usually lead to ignoring the advice of others.