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The Business Lifecycle

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Entrepreneurs and innovators have to understand the big picture while also getting up close and personal with the ultra granular. It’s hard work, but it’s not impossible.

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Great innovators and entrepreneurs understand every single component required to turn a business idea into reality. Beginners think it’s just about the product. More seasoned innovators and entrepreneurs on the other hand can understand the big picture (e.g. vision, strategy, competitive environment, regulatory or market evolution, etc.), while also paying close attention to the ultra granular picture (e.g. particular customer jobs, pains, and gains, or customer journeys).

To get everything right you need to zoom in and zoom out to those different levels of granularity. You have to ask which of these value propositions can be embedded in the right business model? Can it survive in a particular environment with your proposed strategy?

In the longer term that perspective can be framed on a time axis representing the lifecycle of an idea becoming a business and beyond. You start with an idea that you prototype, test and validate. This is the search phase. Once you have enough evidence that your idea will work, you start implementing and scaling the business. This is the execution phase. Then you manage the business until the time comes when you have to reinvent and rejuvenate the business model to create new growth engines.

In this business life cycle it’s important to understand the different skill sets required for different phases. An innovator and entrepreneur constantly navigates between the big picture and the nitty-gritty during the search phase. She understands the full picture! In the execution and management phase, experts take a more narrow view and focus on specific areas of the business (e.g. finance, accounting, marketing, etc.). During the re-invention phase when the business model needs to be reinvented or rejuvenated a broader view should prevail again.

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