Of course all startups need to move fast. Each founder or early employee should step on the throttle and never let go but is it really the time hire 20 people yet? How do you know?
maze quickly, they can't and shouldn't run very fast. This should usually be your high level plan:
- Step 1 - Burn as little cash as you can while you figure out the path out of the maze
- Step 2 - Raise enough funding to get out of the maze (probably 2x more than you think)
- Step 3 - Run fast
The reality for startups is that they can't outrun the big guys on the road. They need to find the mazes and win by outsmarting, being nimble, agile and lean.
If you are not sure if you are already on the road or still in a maze, you can use the "Product Manager Test" to know for sure. Try to imagine a product manager in a big company trying to pitch your idea to his CEO. If you are on the road, a good product manager should be able to pitch it - "here is the customer, here is the revenue projection, here is the business". Most startups however are still in the maze. there are too many unknowns, monetization model is unclear and no one can explain how to get distribution. In that situation, a product manager will not put his career on the line and no CEO will raise that in a board meeting. Only entrepreneurs are crazy enough to do it.