Today we’re going mountain climbing. What mountains you say? Well, the small ones of course! Zeb Parsons, one of our recent podcast guests left us with a line we’ve been noodling on: “Climb the small mountains first & the big mountains later.” This got us thinking, as a business owner, how do I know I’m picking the right mountains? And if I’m investing, how do I know if the owners I’m investing in are prioritizing the right mountains or just losing fingernails on The Dawn Wall?
This week’s podcast attempts to answer these climbing questions. Here are a few of the high points:
1 – Let the first “small mountain” be a deep understanding of the customer.
2 – Make sure all your small mountains are tied to revenue in some way.
3 – Fail fast, but fail cheap. Use the smaller mountains (opportunities) to either validate or kill your big ideas.
4 – Don’t get caught up in the Total Addressable Market (TAM) – focus on how you can serve a specific niche really well.
5 – Wowing your customers opens the door to other customers.
6 – Experienced investors often care more about the team doing the climbing than the specific mountain being climbed.
The big takeaway for investors? Find opportunities backed by the right climbers. It’s not always the business owners going for broke and tackling the biggest mountain they can find. Sometimes it’s smallest mountains that set you up for the most spectacular views.