7 Quick ‘Whys’ for Startups to Consider

Last week I had some downtime due to Spring Break with the family and I got to thinking about several strategic initiatives. In my mind, I went through a number of current projects and did something of a “five whys” exercise to better evaluate things. After thinking about it more, I believe startups would do well to step back and ponder these 7 quick ‘whys’ on a regular basis:

  1. Why are we doing this?
  2. Why is now the right time to do this?
  3. Why are we going to win?
  4. Why aren’t we doing even better?
  5. Why do employees want to work here?
  6. Why is this the right product?
  7. Why do customers love us?

It’s easy to get caught in the weeds of working in the business and not spending enough time stepping back and working on it. Asking why more frequently helps frame the thinking in a more strategic manner.

What else? What are some other good ‘whys’ for startups to consider?

2 thoughts on “7 Quick ‘Whys’ for Startups to Consider

  1. David, This is a fantastic exercise. If startups do this regularly, they’ll recognize pivot opportunities. I also think that startups should ask their customers a set of questions like the ones below because they go hand in hand with your why’s above (rephrase for your audience):

    1) What’s one thing we are doing that we should keep doing?
    2) What’s one thing we are doing that we should stop doing?
    3) What’s one thing we are not doing yet that we should start doing?
    4) If you had to tell someone else about this service/product, what would you say to them as a 30 second pitch?

  2. David & David,

    Excellent exercise for start-ups and applicable at any stage of the process (especially for those trying new products or business/service models and of course during down times each start-up has to cross)

    As investors, curious to know what do you think would the right/appropriate response for the following questions:

    Why is now the right time to do this?
    Why is this the right product ?

    Thanks,

    Rahul

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