We’re all tempted by the promise of quick tips and tricks to grow our business. The trouble is they distract us from the real goal and from the real work. What we need are systems of growth.
What is your growth goal? Who is your ideal customer? Why should they care? How will you reach them? What will success look like? How will you measure progress – and failure? How will you keep getting better?
Andrew Chen leads supply-side growth at Uber. In this interview he discusses some of the lessons he’s learned about building systems of growth.
Moats & Startups
In the pre-digital world there were many ways to defend your company against competitors. Today there are really only four according to James Currier: 1) Network effects, 2) Scale, 3) Brand, 4) Embedding. We need to lay the foundations from day one.
UK startup bank Monzo is taking an unusually open and community-based approach to building it customer-base. It’s successfully tapping into it’s 100,000 email subscribers and its active online forum to shape product direction, receive user-submitted images for ads and even to get ideas for a new company name. With 40,000 new users in less than a year, it seems to be working.
GIF it to me Baby!
GIFs are being used more and more in home pages as an effective way to explain what you’re about. Here’s a great fintech example…
How Much Traction Do I Need to Get Funding?
David Beisel (cofounder at NextView Ventures) argues that that’s the wrong question. The key thing instead is the rate of revenue growth. Key take-aways when trying to raise funding: 1) Keep experimenting until you hit a naturally steep curve, 2) “When positioning the company investors, tell a story about how the market is pulling you in a direction, and the company to date has been able to succeed with relatively little resources… with even more capital, the natural traction will continue.”
Realistic Financial Projections
Roger Lee underscores the importance of openness and transparency with our boards. In tough times this is vital. He suggests: 1) Be upfront and own the problem, 2) Keep the communication channels open: perhaps weekly calls, 3) Pick one or 2 KPIs to focus on relentlessly, 4) Maximise your options: always have a plan-B.
Bad & Good Culture
Wells Fargo just fired over 5,000 staff for creating 2 million fake bank accounts. Now they are claiming there’s no problem with their culture – just bad employees. Right. Meanwhile, UK banks have been fined £53 billion pounds between 2000 and 2015 for swindling the public. Creating the right culture where this sort of thing can’t happen – at least on a systemic basis is essential for our fintech startups. This starts from day 1.
Internet of Things
A new McKinsey report says that “If policy makers and businesses get it right, linking the physical and digital worlds could generate up to $11.1 trillion a year in economic value by 2025.” The report concludes “the hype may actually understate the full potential—but that capturing it will require an understanding of where real value can be created and a successful effort to address a set of systems issues, including interoperability.”
Talking to Your Bank
Some have asked why Capital One is the only financial services firm currently on Amazon Echo (the home-based voice interface). Some say it’s because Capital One are just ahead of the pack. Others that there isn’t a demand yet. Meanwhile, we at the cutting edge have to make a judgement over whether there’s potential demand from our audiences. Do you know about yours?
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