The Power of One

Over the last two years, I’ve learned an incredible amount about… well everything. Hiring, firing, raising money, selling, marketing, etc. But the most important thing I’ve learned is more meta than a specific functional area, tactic, or unique challenge. Rather, the most important thing I’ve learned is how to manage my time and the company’s priorities.

Jason Cohen from WP Engine does an excellent job explaining this idea with a specific emphasis on growth. But he’s right. A startup can focus on only one priority at a time. I didn’t absorb the magnitude of this statement until recently. But it’s really true. The business has to have a single, unilateral, unwavering focus, and everything in the business should be aligned around that. The opportunity cost of focus is tremendous. A single goal aligns the entire company and provides clarity to everyone.

What I’m proposing here isn’t novel. It’s just focus. But focus isn’t enough. Focus is ambiguous and soft. “One,” on the other hand, is concrete. There can only be one “one,” as the name would imply :).