I’m not sure how I’ve found the time to write this post: it’s only ten days into Nuwe’s accelerator programme but it seems like months, considering the ground covered.
The picture above hopefully tells you a bit about how we feel right now: we’re using every available resource to climb ‘the wall’ that can make our startup a real company with a repeatable business model.
So here’s a few of the adjustments we’ve had to make, just to keep up with the experience.
N1: Stay fit and energetic
We are a health company so hopefully it’s in our DNA, but during an accelerator you spend so much time in workshops and meetings that you feel exhausted – at exactly the time you’re meant to apply all this learning to your business.
In fact, we decided to start the programme on a juice diet, which sounds crazy, but it worked: we spent less time looking for food to fuel us up (we were preparing bottles the night before), and got a great detox and energy kick out of it.
N2: Trust the process
I’ve always believed that to perform at our best we need to concentrate on the tasks that we can control and change, rather than speculating on why something is done in one way rather than another. Today, accelerators are a proven model and therefore you need to trust that whatever you are required to do, it’s for your own good.
N3: Stop building
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” (Abraham Lincoln)
This is the time to sharpen your tools. We are not accelerating our product development, we are accelerating the value chain behind the product, which means that we are refining how to transition a startup into a solid company that provides a repeatable service that customers are willing to pay for.
N4: Talk, talk, and talk
Get on the phone and talk to everyone you can to learn. And you need to be very quick at iterating this process: mentors and contacts of give you multiple points of view, and the key here is to rationalise them into a customer validation experiment.
The ultimate truth does not exist in a horizontal market discovery; it is a scientific process where experiments have to have a goal a measure and an outcome. Only collecting all those results you can really draw conclusions.
It’s one thing talking, and another to effectively manage the network you are building. Business is made by people and therefore to grow a business, you need people. A fantastic idea in the mind of one person will remain a fantastic dream, but will never become a business.
Make sure that you keep a CRM with everyone you meet and dedicate time to take care of your network. It is all about the network.
N6: Be nice… but ruthless
Time is limited and therefore there is no time for too many formalities and queuing to get what you need. You need to speak up and ask, take action immediately and make decisions.
Finally, it’s important to use every precious moment to the maximum – and on that note, I’ll say goodbye until the next update.