As regular readers will know at Forward Partners we’ve been working with idea stage entrepreneurs for over two years. During this time we’ve seen the same patterns play out again and again and we’ve developed a suite of tools and tactics to help our partners. We’ve pulled those thoughts into a framework for ecommerce and marketplace entrepreneurs called The Path Forward that we launched at our #FPLive event last night.
I’m excited about this. I think The Path Forward has real depth both as a guide to help founders set priorities and as a practical tool to help with execution.
The graphic above illustrates how we’ve seen it work best for companies, and that’s to focus first on making sure the idea is valid, and then on building a valued product, and then turn to building a valuable business. Moving prematurely to the product or business Steps is counterproductive. Underneath each of the Steps we’ve set out the Waypoints companies should achieve to know they are ready to move onto the next Step.
On The Path Forward site there’s more detail about each of the Steps and Waypoints and then a set of highly practical articles and case studies organised under the Steps and Waypoints structure. For example under the Right Skills Waypoint (Step 1 Valid Idea) there’s an article titled Agency, outsource, or do it yourself? and under the Growing Product Waypoint (Step 2 Valued Product) there’s an article about Channel testing, initial CPCs & judging scalability.
These articles were written by members of the Forward Partners startup and growth team (Leo Tsementzis and Tom MacThomas) and indeed all the content so far has come from us. We will continue to contribute new articles each week and hope that startup folk more broadly will also start chipping in so The Path Forward becomes a community owned project.
So we’d love you to get involved.
Here’s what you can do next:
- Explore The Path Forward site
- Read a more detailed introduction here (also on the site)
- Sign up to receive the weekly updates when new articles are published
- Follow @path_forward on Twitter
- If you’d like to contribute as a Pathfinder (author), get in touch
- Let me know what you think in the comments
And, if you like what we’re doing, please share!