Focus Till It Hurts

Written by
Ross Andrewsarrow icon

Focus Till It Hurts

Written by
Ross Andrews

Several mentors and peers that I look up to have given me some advice that I think is worth sharing for other first-time founders, “Focus Till It Hurts”.

I know I fell prey to this when I was starting my first startup. I was young and probably a bit naive. I wanted to solve everything for everyone, with limited resources I kept building new features and new products trying to make our platform a jack-of-all trades that I could wow prospective customers with. It felt good, until I tried to explain it to prospects, they couldn’t figure out what we were, the problem we were supposed to solve. Plus a $100/month product that solves all the worlds problems is just a little too good to be true. I didn’t focus till it hurt.

Early startups are born to solve a problem, early Salesforce helped you keep track of your customers, Uber helped you hail a rid, and Shopify managed online orders. The founders of these companies focused till it hurt and found a solution that solves that solved a singular problem for their customers. Today all of these companies are massive platforms, but they started serving a singular function.

It is the nature of founders and entrepreneurs to dream and think big, and there is nothing wrong with that. You need to have the big picture in mind for the journey you are about to embark on. But taking that big picture and breaking it down, finding that one thing, and focusing on that one thing till you have perfected it is a key for success.

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