As I do every year between Christmas and New Years, I spend quiet time reflecting on the past year of Podia while planning the coming year. It’s really the only time when I can do some really deep thinking.
As I sat down with my notepad this year, and after lots of internal thinking, note taking and writing, I kept coming back to this idea of "doubling down on your strengths" and when it’s time to do that.
For at least the first few years of any startup, so much of product development is about expanding your feature set.
You build what the market wants, you build what your customers want, you build your vision, and you build to stay competitive with your competitors. With a decent plan, you can almost do no wrong. It’s as if there’s a giant dart board full of features and you can throw blindfolded and hit something that works.
Eventually, there comes a time when you’ve whittled down your list and you have a solid understanding of what's working and what's not. It's at that time that you get to shift gears from building a lot of different features that address a lot of different areas of the product to honing in on your strengths.
It's an immensely gratifying feeling because you only get there when you've hit Product Market Fit and you’re growing steadily. You now have focus.
Once you get there, you feel both a sense of relief, but also an intense need to keep building and growing. Yes, you now have the data to support what's next and have decent confidence on how to execute it, but you also worry that you're maybe not quite there yet.
It’s at this point in the road where you need to double down.
Even though I'm writing this with some hesitation, I'm excited to be "doubling down on our strengths" in 2019.