Monday, March 26, 2012

Does Ben Parr's first "startup sin" also apply to mature businesses?

Ben Parr recently wrote his seven startup sins to avoid. The first sin was as follows:

Losing focus: If you're like the typical entrepreneur, you probably have hundreds of new ideas for your startup. But you must resist the urge to build lots of features, rather than focusing on the few that will actually take your product forward.

It seems logical that a scattershot startup will not get anything done, while a startup that concentrates on one idea has a better chance of attracting attention.

But does this also apply beyond startups, to mature companies?

Now I'm not suggesting that a mature company should only be in one business. But a mature company still needs some sort of focus. Imagine that you run a company named after a fruit, and that your company sells desktop computers, laptop computers, tablet devices, phones, music devices, and some other stuff. You're not going to have success if you offer hundreds of different types of computers, hundreds of tablets, and the like.

Why won't that "extensive market coverage" be successful? Let Ben Parr tell you:

Giving users many choices and features may seem like a good idea, but it just confuses them until they abandon a product in frustration. Simplicity and focus are the keys to building a great company.

And that's true regardless of the company size.
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