What should a startup do? Big vision or Narrow focus

Should a startup focus on a small narrow problem or have a grand vision? That’s the question I was asked today. 

In my opinion, it is not Either / Or. These two are, in fact, inclusive. 

Imagine being lost in the wilderness of a forest and you trying to figure things out. Then, someone asking you to focus on the steps you are taking rather than worrying about where you want to go.  

That’s exactly where most of the startup cofounders are. They are lost in the wilderness of world of opportunities trying to chart their course.  

While it is very important to focus on a tiny, narrow problem as a startup, founders must also know the bigger picture. 

A larger vision will give them sense of purpose and direction. This will allow them to pivot or change course when their assumptions don’t yield the desired results. 

Elon Musk grand vision is to colonize Mars, Bill gates vision was to put a computer on every desk and  Steve Jobs vision was putting a ding in the universe.  Yet, each of them started with a product much smaller than their grand vision. 

What do you think? Grand vision or super sharp focus or both ?

Kumar Sachidanandam

Leadership, Innovation, Technology