Growth is a perennial challenge for new technology companies. Fail to grow, and questions about strategy and execution soon follow. The challenge in finding an answer is that there is a lot that an early-stage company doesn't know — about the market, customers, and even what they will buy. It's the norm rather than exception. And based on startup success rates, good solutions are rare.
Strategic analysis is the de facto choice for diagnosing problem businesses. Following a linear, "outside-in" approach, the process starts with market analysis and moves methodically into strategy, execution and customers. The main drawback: the limited information of early markets complicates the process, and time-consuming data gathering and analyses are needed to justify conclusions.
Unable to afford the time and expense of this approach, many companies resort instead to problem-by-problem correction of positioning, demand generation, messaging, etc. While this ad hoc technique may produce results, it comes with the risk of fixing only symptoms of the underlying growth problem. It may also take numerous iterations.
We've devised a decidedly better way to diagnose and plan early-stage companies: we analyze the business from the inside out. Starting with the customer innovation adoption process, we systematically evaluate how well the company promotes (or will promote) the process, and whether its strategy furthers these aims. Structured methods and automated tools further speed the process.
By focusing on the basics of adoption rather than strategy and assumptions, we get to the heart of growth issues quickly. And because value proposition is closely tied to adoption, the method quickly yields insights on customers and innovation use, execution effectiveness, and potential opportunities.