Startup Cabin Blog

How to Thrive When Your Industry Changes

Posted by Steve Ferris on 21 February 2016


What do you do when your industry is being turned upside down? The media has been suffering massive disruption with floods of amateurs entering their market via podcasts and video.

People don't want to pay to news anymore! How media companies respond will make or break them. And there just two ways to respond.
Would you choose the right way?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling

How to Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 16 February 2016


How Disrupt like AirBnB and UBER: Amazing success can be found in digitizing an old industry, especially if you're the first to do it. But before you join the ranks of Uber and AirBnB, you must meet some important needs of your customers.

How can you change your business model?
What can you make customers feel safe when you disrupt an industry?

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling

What's your hedgehog concept? It will make or break you.

Posted by Xue Mei Rhodin on 19 December 2014


There are two types of people in the world, foxes and hedgehogs. When these two types of people lead a business, the outcomes usually award the hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have one simple thing they do over and over, roll into a ball, and the clever foxes fail no matter how many things they do. Your business needs it's own "Hedgehog concept" to set it apart for exceptional success. Here's how to define yours. 

One of our favorite books at Startup Cabin is "Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't" by Jim Collins. Collins explains that the hedgehog prevails because it does one simple thing better than any other animal. While the fox is looking for new approaches and schemes to get that fat little rodent, he often ends up with spikes in his nose.

Take it into business.

They key is not doing a lot of things well, but totally owning one area because you're better than any other sucker out there. That's your space! If you want to win like a hedgehog, find that one thing you can do better than anyone else. Here is what Collins recommends for you to consider while defining your concept.

  1. Determine what you can be best in the world at and what you cannot be best in the world at;
  2. Determine what drives your economic engine; and
  3. Determine what you are deeply passionate about.


I'm just thinking of of a pitch I saw once where the investors, audience and event were totally lost as to what this app was because of the huge amount of stuff this guy's app did. Essentially he wanted to aggregate all your social media, calendars, Evernote and Skype into one place. 

"That's mighty impressive Mr. fox."

Needless to say, it was painful to watch the poor guy try to explain why his Swiss Army knife of an app was a great thing for the world.

Do one thing better than anyone else! That's it.

If you add too much, it gets confusing. And if you make movies like this, trying to be a lot of different things once, you'll get a fantastic mess of cinema like this hilarious video from Jimmy Kimmel.

So what's your experience with foxes and hedgehogs? Tell me in the comments.

Topics: Marketing Strategy, Structure and Scaling, Sales Strategy

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