The most successful founders I know are extremely savvy about execution. Superpowers.
But they also were thoughtful and clear about the strategic decisions they needed to make to execute so well.
Most founders aren’t good at both of those.
Winning founders learn that effective strategic decisions don’t come from generalized answers that work for everyone.
They are based on the foundational decisions that are unique to them and their business.
They find these when they kept digging to really answer the “it depends” questions.
What should we do about pricing, hiring, branding, features, etc.?
It always depends on a few deeper strategic decisions that answer these questions:
1) Who specifically are your target customers?
2) What exactly do we deliver to these specific customers?
3) What do these target customers think is so amazing about your thing that they pay, stay, and rave about it to their friends.
4) Why are you different and better than your direct competition and indirect alternatives?
5) What do you care about that makes you turn away potential customers who don’t believe what you believe?
6) What irrefutable credibility do you have to make this specific customer believe why your product or services is so amazing compared to the competition?
7) What kind of growth and funding game are you playing?
If you can’t answer these questions clearly and say no to other things, your strategy won’t work well.
Bad strategy is the main cause of bad execution.
But only always.