It all comes down to having time to think. Strategy is the byproduct of thoughtful thinking. Overthinking is seen by startup intelligentsia as a sign of stalling, of inefficiency. The key is to measure what is ‘too much.’ For years, many interpreted ‘too much’ as no thinking at all. And got away with it. Until now. Too many startups operate under very simplistic models. Or no models at all for that matter. And the tide is catching up with them.
Many forces affect society, and it’s important to see where the startup fits in all this. As I wrote before, the age of unregulated startups is coming to an end
. The time for startups operating in a vacuum has passed. The immediate consequence is that a narrow and simplistic analysis won’t yield a successful startup
And this takes me to my last point. Too many people keep focusing on what’s happening now. Few people ask themselves what will happen in the future. All their analysis are based on current trends (current as in last month), and not on behavior evolution in the future.
The current scooter fever is a perfect reflection of this. Before the summer all investors rushed to invest in the so-called next big wave of smart mobility.
“Investors rushed in after seeing rapid adoption in several California cities. Some companies reported revenue of more than $20 a day for each scooter, suggesting significant profit potential given they cost about $500 apiece.”
Lure by a pipe dream, they joined the merry wagon — an investment that’s resulting in a folly. Rapid adoption isn’t synonymous of success much less in just a few cities in California (San Francisco being one of them).
“The economics, though, have proved tougher than expected, people familiar with the companies said.
One issue is scooters not designed for heavy use are breaking down quickly. In some markets, scooters last about two months, investors said, often less time than it takes to recoup the purchase cost. ”
The most surprising aspect is the belief that because you’re making $20 a day, it will keep going like that once the fad is gone. Focusing on the short-term and projecting into the future is a bad indicator. One that shows rush behavior and lack of depth in the thought process.
For the record, I am very intrigued by the micro-mobility space. I believe it’s here to stay. What I don’t buy is the ephemeral arguments many fling around. What matters is the usefulness of micro-mobility services within the long-term. Today’s standards won’t stand in six months. The question is, what behavior will it replace if any and why?
Too often, entrepreneurs and investor alike, fall prey to a lack of strategic thinking. The motto is to keep up with the wave, no matter what. FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and herd mentality are becoming the norm (ok, they were always there). The need to keep up is erasing any time for thinking things through. You’re either in or missing out, and your status falls within the technology upper caste.