Ten Attitudes For A Growth Mindset

Here are ten attitudes that you must be burnt into your startup’s personality to have a growth mindset. 

  1. One of the founders must be ‘sales obsessed’.  Not just interested, eager, energetic, but ‘obsessed’.   This will ensure that your startup is always on the lookout for growth opportunities. 
  1. Your value proposition must be clear and tangible.  It must matter to the customer. This needs to be kept in mind from the very beginning and through your product iterations.  It is better to have a sharp product for a smaller (but not tiny) audience than a blunt one for a large target segment.  Of course, its golden to have both. 
  1. You should look at ‘usability’ and ‘sellability’ in product strategy and design.  That means several things: 
  1. The product makes it easy for the customer to decide.  This is not to be interpreted simplistically as merely lower cost or as premium offering.  The offering must be compelling in its totality.  This means there is a feature(s) that is very attractive and the negatives (e.g. price) are small in comparison.  By features one does not mean technical features alone.  For example, beauty or elegance may be a key feature (think Apple).  And this compelling proposition must be easy for the customer to see and experience. 
  1. It must be easy for the customer to go from buying to getting results.   
  1. A related point, it must be easy to setup and go live.  If, for the customer, adopting the product requires significant preparatory work, either you do it for them or you provide the tools to help them do it easily.  Consider including the necessary services as part of the product offering.   
  1. You need to balance product feature richness with ease of setup and use.  Customers are no longer dazzled merely by feature rich demos. 

The point to be emphasized is that these factors are to be kept in mind from the product strategy and design stage itself.  They should continue to be important as your product iterates. 

  1. You should place great importance on user experience and ensure that customer satisfaction does not suffer as your business scales.  You could empower your UX team to take operational decisions regarding product, service, support and other teams. 
  1. ‘Selling’ must be a key value for your organization.  Selling is everybody’s responsibility directly or indirectly. 
  1. You need to advocates within your organization to transmit the voice of the customer so its loud and clear internally at all times. 
  1. Your entire organization should rally around for large, breakthrough opportunities without you having to push your people. 
  1. You should not penny pinch on Sales.  You need to be smart about spending but you can’t settle for anything but the best quality sales operation. Only one horse wins the race.   
  1. You need to always thinking long term.  You can recognize when it is good to walk away from a sale. 
  1. In some cases, it takes a long time to build the product – e.g. medical devices.  In such cases you could try to find ways to constantly test your offering in the interim with your target customers using demo videos, VR, mock ups, scaled down versions, 3D prints.  Basis this you can try to get advances or purchase orders from early adopters.  There is a big difference between ‘we are very interested’ and ‘we are buying’. 

The above are not things to do, but attitudes to inculcate.  The best way to do it is to internalize them yourself and constantly talk about it with your people.