Is Your Ecosystem Paralyzed? Here is One Simple Trick to Get Unstuck

Like startup companies, startup ecosystems invariably get stuck. This can be frustrating to both the community leaders (those who are working tirelessly usually without pay to stand up those events) as well as the entrepreneurs who need access to resources to grow their company.

There is one simple, subtle, little trick borrowed from motivation experts that can unstuck your ecosystem – a reignited passion for forward motion.

Seth Godin recently posted a blog piece about breaking free of the status quo. This phenomenon happens to us as individuals in their marriage or their job and it certainly happens to companies which usually results in loss of market share, people, and revenue to call out a few of the biggies. And it also happens to entrepreneurial ecosystems too.

Is your ecosystem stuck on status quo?  What are some signals?

  • The same 25 people show up at every event with no net/new members
  • There has not been a new event in over a year or two
  • Everyone is rallying around that one breakout company with no chatter or support for the next generation of companies
  • The newspaper is writing the same story over and over again

To continue this riff with the essence of Seth’s post, maybe we just stopped caring enough to do something new.  New means what’s next.  New means who’s next. New means what do we need now (that was different than a year ago).

Ecosystem leaders – you cannot rest on the advancements you made last year or the past few years.

There must be a passion for forward motion.  Return to your clients – the entrepreneurs – and ask them what they need now. In other words, update your customer discovery data. Things have changed and you need to adapt your product offerings to meet those needs.

The trick is to do it with as much passion as you had a few years back.

Speaker, investor, mentor, startup founder. One of 3 or 4 Co-Founders of MapQuest (sold to AOL for $1.2B). Managing Director of $25M Venture Fund in late 90's. CEO, COO or President of various companies ranging from $200k to $20M in size. One of two Managing Directors of The Startup Factory (35 investments across 7 cohorts), founder and MC of the Big Top Reverse Job Fair and national writer and speaker waxing poetic around startups and startup communities. Currently EIR @ Techstars with Brad Feld ~ Startup Communities, to help community leaders around the world grow their startup community.

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