Explain What Your Startup Isn’t

A Startup Company's Server Room
Image by kawanet via Flickr

Startup founders love to explain their vision, strategy, and rattle off all the product features. I’m a fan of offline analogies as well as creating mindshare hooks. Startups also fall prey trying to be all things to all people, but with such little resources it is best to do one thing and do it extremely well. One of the things I’d like to see more founders do is think through what their startup isn’t. Here are some examples:

  • We don’t target companies with more than 300 employees
  • We don’t target B2C companies
  • We don’t sell with field sales reps

Yes, the opposite could be articulated but it’s easy to say “we focus on B2B companies” while also seeking out B2C companies. The key with explaining what the startup isn’t is that it makes it more clear where you stand, helping enrich your core focus.

My recommendation is to make a list of what your startup isn’t.

What else? What are some other benefits of explaining what your startup isn’t?

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