July 1, 2015 Jordhy Ledesma

Managing Gridlock

Gridlock resulting from vehicles and pedestrians "blocking the box" at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 57th Street in New York City. Transferred from en.wikipedia;  by Michiel1972.

Gridlock resulting from vehicles and pedestrians “blocking the box” at the intersection of 1st Avenue and 57th Street in New York City. Transferred from en.wikipedia; by Michiel1972.

Gridlock is a common situation for traction-less startups. Your ratings on the App Store are falling, there’s no growth in your monthly visits and revenue couldn’t be more stagnant, so what do you do? What can you do when VCs are pushing one way, employees on another and competitors won’t let you move forward (via lawsuits or otherwise)?

The first step is to assess the situation finding key avenues for change and identifying the key actors that make a difference. Then, start creating new “threads” or projects to untangle the gridlocked web. These projects are aimed at creating new revenue streams, new competence or new IP. Think about what could your company do to improve its market positioning, how could your team be more productive,  and what will move customers to purchase or come back to your site more often. Essentially, you get out of gridlocks via deal making or innovation.

Once we accept our limits, we can go beyond them.
– Albert Einstein

Meetings, ideation, design thinking and partnerships are all good avenues for ending gridlock. However, you have to move fast; investors are impatient, customers have very limited attention and you only get so many shots with each startup.


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