Most businesses are not built on big, audacious goals and moonshot projects. Instead, they are built on a simple idea, an attempt to fix a problem, and a tireless effort to improve the value they deliver and a constant self-reminder to keep doing that and just that.
And, indeed, many businesses have spent a lot of time looking for those shortcuts – placing bets on a long list of different ideas and projects, that might, just might kick the growth through the roof quickly. While this approach can be fun and motivating, however, it also comes with some substantial risks. You have to consider the risk of losing your focus; of wasting hard-earned money; of ending up with a misaligned and confused team; or of introducing too much complexity internally and on the user side, thus resulting in a destabilization of your business’ core. Looking for shortcuts means that you will run all those risks for the tiny chance that your company will hit it big short-term, but very, very few companies do that.
When you have been building a business for a while, you really do realize that “home runs” are very rare. Persistency and incremental improvements, on the other hand, are quite doable. I like to think that we, at TrueStory, have the same objective every day: we want to improve some part of our business by 1% while staying on our selected course towards a shared goal; create as many experiences as possible for our customers.
What do I mean by “1%”?
It is more of a mindset than an actual quantifiable goal.
At TrueStory, our objective is to think about our business and each element of it and make sure that we improve something every day. We don’t (only) want to wait and plan for potential home runs in the form of product launches, relaunches, or crazy new experiments; instead, a 1% change for the better – “one base at a time,” as it were – is enough. Consistently and with focus.
And so, instead of spending your time looking for shortcuts towards fast growth, try chasing those 1% improvements for your own business. This can be done persistently while helping you stay calm, focused, and aligned. If you do it right, then the rule of accumulation will kick in – and, all of a sudden, you could have a giant, profitable, and independent business on your hands.
I don’t see the “1%” goal as being any less ambitious than, and I don’t believe it results in lower growth rates than, a more aggressive “10x” approach due to the high risk of failure that comes with the 10x approach. I see 1% as the better bet, a state that I can persist in for a longer duration and a strategy that I can execute while staying in control and without jeopardizing my current freedom.
At TrueStory, we will go to work every day and try to improve our own work, the value we deliver to our customers, and the processes we have – step by step. If we do that, I firmly believe that within 3-5 years, we can be the dominant force in our industry also outside Scandinavia – an industry that is currently dominated by big, venture-backed players who are all aiming for the next groundbreaking idea and innovation in order to hit that home-run short-term.