Discussion: Speed as a Habit

First Round Review recently posted an excellent article, Speed as a Habit by Dave Girouard, CEO of personal finance startup Upstart, and former President of Google Enterprise Apps. You can read the article on the First Round website here.

Key Points:

Girouard makes a number of excellent points in the article, which are worth discussing here on SalesDev.Global. Please join the conversation here.

  1. “All else being equal, the fastest company in any market will win.”
    Unfortunately an excellent article begins with an easily disproved generalization. Lyft was faster to market than Uber, who was then faster to expand after raising more money. Who was “faster?” It doesn’t matter: the main point of the article is about speed of execution, so this generalization is a needless distraction. Any presentation that begins with a grandiose claim begs the audience to think of counter examples, just like this. Lesson learned!
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  2. “Do you remember the last time you were in a meeting and someone said, ‘ “We’re going to make this decision before we leave the room”? ’ How great did that feel? Didn’t you just want to hug that person?”
    It feels great every time this happens, and you do want to hug them. The article just got back on track.
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  3. “Deciding on when a decision will be made from the start is a profound, powerful change that will speed everything up.”
    Many corroborating examples from the world of startups come to mind.
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  4. “There are decisions that deserve days of debate and analysis, but the vast majority aren’t worth more than 10 minutes.”
    How many times have you sat through endless discussions of how to deal with a difficult technical problem, knowing the outcome in advance? In corpspeak, this is known as “socializing” the solution, so that everybody feels better about it. Startups don’t have time for this!
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  5. “This is a big decision. Even though we think we know what to do, let’s give it 24 hours.”
    Used sparingly, this is a fabulous technique. Refer again to #3.
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  6. “We constantly say that while we’re working hard on this one thing, our competitors are probably working just as hard on something we don’t even know about.”
    Can anybody come up with a counterexample to this one? A situation where unexpected competition did NOT appear, even if they came at the problem from a very different direction?

Hopefully we can have a great conversation about this article in the SalesDev.Global community. Please join the conversation here.