Which turns lead to greatness and which leads to mediocrity?
Leverage Maze is a dynamic strategy for the founder to win the customer’s heart and avoid slowly getting killed by competitors at the same time.
In order to prepare to make ANY decision, founder should systematically acquire the knowledge of everything that might impact any decision that she/he might make. Questions such as:
- Who has this problem? Why is this a problem?
- How are people solving this problem today?
- What effort / timing is required to switch from a different solution to yours?
- Is the product being designed for the customer, or at the customer?
- Can you articulate the idea maze by which you have come up with the current product plan? What data are you looking for from the market that will let you know if your plans are correct or not?
- What is the unfair advantage?
- If no one else is doing this, why not?
- What’s a feature request that you get a lot, but that you will never build?
- What are the 2-3 key metrics that management looks at to drive the business? (show me the dashboard you look at every day)
- Can you create breakthrough technology/distribution instead of incremental improvement?
- Is there an unfair distribution advantage
- What are your customer acquisition channels?
- How has distribution worked so far? What has worked/not worked
- How much does customer acquisition cost? (per channel) How will you make this money back and how long will it take?
- What’s the lifetime value of your customer and how much do you have to pay to get them? (The best ideas have LTV / CAC metrics of above 5)
- How scalable are these? How big can you get with your existing product + customer acquisition channels? (At what point do they get saturated or become too expensive and what do you do if/when that happens?)
- What do you plan to do next for distribution?
- Is now the right time to start your particular business?
- What is the most ambitious achievable milestone for your company within a 5 year time horizon?
- Is your product a credible advance toward this milestone?
- What’s the next credible advance toward this milestone? The one after that? The one after that?
- Will your market position be defensible 10 and 20 years in the future?
- Why is your team uniquely motivated to solve this problem?
- Who do you need to hire during the next 18 months to be extremely successful?
- How well can you articulate your vision such that the best talents will join you, customers will buy from you, top VCs will give you money, etc.?