“I want to punch those.”
That is Brian Zuercher’s sentiment toward those “5 Ways To…” blog posts. The CEO & Co-founder of Venueseen—a startup turning consumer-generated Instragram photos into marketing opportunities—is an incredibly entertaining and insightful guy. When he’s not working with clients like ESPN and The Indianapolis 500, he’s usually emceeing the standing room only WakeUp StartUp at The Ohio State University or making the rounds at any number of StartUp Weekends.
“You don’t see guys like Richard Branson coming out with anything like ‘3 things that make me successful.’”
As we move through our lives and build our businesses, no generic or canned advice can really have a meaningful impact. But along the broader continuum of life and business we can find pressure points—those major challenges or opportunities that can have the biggest impact.
“Generally it’s hard to be focused on more than 2-3 things. I think the people that fail are the ones that think there are 100 pressure points. There’s not. There’s usually 1 or 2.”
But, of course, there are different pressure points at any given time along the continuum. When Richard Branson started his first business, we can bet that there were very specific things he worked on and had to solve for that made it a success. In his business(es) today, the pressure points are probably very different. Working to innovate around anything except for the relevant pressure points at that time is most likely a formula for failure.
“We have 5 people: a sales guy, an account guy and a couple of devs. For me, it’s more about the time I spend on each of those things. You kind of have to check yourself, and I don’t consciously do this, but you try to reflect on your week or month and be like ‘we need to get this stuff done and this is the metric of success.’”
As individuals and as a collective group of talent, there is only so much energy in the tank that we can exert and it can’t be spent everywhere.
“The cool thing is that when you do it well, you make so much more progress than if you’re scattered…and everyone feels that momentum. It’s much easier to get to the next goal that way.”
If there is one thing you can learn from Brian its to be focused on the biggest risks in your business and then innovate around the opportunities that will have the biggest impact.