<- Home

<- Home

Takeaways for early growth after the big startup reset

Jan 12, 2024

We're 3 years into our journey of building Detail, and as investor I saw tens of other startups try to plough their way through the messy middle in the past year.

Seven takeaways after the big startup reset in 2023:

1. Speed is everything.

If you want to beat the odds, you need to outperform everyone else in your market. Build better product faster.

2. Operational rigor helps beat the odds.

Consistency is key. There’s things you can control, and plenty of things beyond your control. Don’t drop the ball on valuable things that you can control. Being consistent helps build rhythm and builds trust with your team, customers, and investors.

3. Patience is a virtue.

Building something out of nothing takes time. Endless effort. There are no real shortcuts. Most companies take years to build significant traction. Doing this for the third time made me appreciate this endless grind even more. Just keep going.

4. Product-market fit is not a thing.

Product market fit is not a binary state or a moment that you can pinpoint. Product-market-fit is growing when the pull from the market becomes stronger and you no longer have to scream into the void. It’s when customers start making requests or demands. And when you know there’s a lot more where that came from….

5. Go-to-market became harder than ever.

Growing early customer traction is harder today than ever. Compared to a decade ago, it’s much more challenging to break through the noise, and pique and keep the interest of potential customers. Changes in the media landscape and macro-economic environment rendered most playbooks for go-to-market obsolete.

6. Invest in compounding acquisition early.

Start building acquisition channels early. While your product, customer segmentation, and positioning evolve, you should start laying the foundation for growth. Building organic acquisition can take years, you have no time to waste. Start with investments in marketing and growth channels early, even when your product doesn’t fully stick yet.

7. Set the bar.

Set the bar for growth. You typically won’t reach 1M ARR overnight. You can’t count on outside forces to reach your goals. The only way to beat your long term numbers, is by building consistently compounding growth. Break it down and aim for sustained double digit growth rates, week over week. To grow from 1,000 to 100K MRR in a year, you need to grow 9% every week. At 5% growth week over week, it will take you 2 years. To sustain revenue growth rates, you need to grow your acquisition, revenue per user, improve retention, and improve conversion ratios in your funnel – each of these are levers you can pull.

Building in 2022 and 2023 was tough, but very rewarding, and I’m excited for the next years! Feel free to leave a comment with feedback or questions about growth and building...

Image by Rafael Rudnik on Unsplash