The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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Today on The Startup Chat, Steli and Hiten talk about the need for speed versus the need for focus at a startup.

Deciding whether to prioritize speed versus focus at your startup can be crucial to how successful you’re going to be. Overall, prioritizing focus will always trump speed. However, in order to prioritize focus on you need to know what to focus on.

In today’s episode of the show, Steli and Hiten talk about why focus and speed are really important, how focusing can affect your speed, how to tell when you should focus and when you shouldn’t and much more.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:00 About today’s topic

00:33 Why this topic was chosen.

01:20 Why focus and speed are really important.

01:48 How focusing can affect your speed.

02:14 How to tell when you should focus and when you shouldn’t.

03:54 An example of what to focus on.

07:55 How some founders tend to prioritize speed over focus in the early days.

05:42 How focus always trumps speed.

06:42 How focusing has helped Close succeed.

3 Key Points:

Speed and focus are still an important aspect of your job.A lot of times when you’re very thoughtful, speed isn't your biggest consideration.Most founders in the early days prioritize speed over focus.


Steli Efti: Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah: And this is Hiten Shah and today on The Startup Chat, we're going to be talking about speed versus focus and this is one of those topics where one of us kind of knows what we want to talk about and the other one of us doesn't. And in this case I know what we want to talk them about it a little bit and Steli is going to be surprised and then we're going to get into a discussion about this just because it's a super fascinating topic and it's one that really is inspired, not necessarily fully sponsored, but inspired by this. A partner of ours that we brought on to basically talk about something, give us a some inspiration to, and it's a is where you need to go and they are a product that it provides science backed music to help you focus, relax, and sleep. So you can guess why I was inspired on this topic. Now this is a topic I've talked about before a lot, so I'm going to jump right into it and say, Steli, this is the deal. I think that when you're working on a business, regardless of what size or where you are in it, there's two things that are really important: focus and speed, and you can say, "Oh, I'm in a larger organization. Speed is something that I don't control or whatever," but still speed is still an important aspect to your job regardless. And focus is also an important aspect of your job. And you can imagine that sometimes both of those things can be contradictory. And the reason I put those two things together is because I think the way I look at it is focus can either bring you a lot of speed and can make you quicker at executing or focus can actually distract you from going fast because you're spending so much time or going so deep into something and you don't need to. So how can you tell the difference between when you should focus and when you shouldn't on something about your business or in your business? And then how do you decide whether it's something you need to go fast on or something actually that you should go slower on because it requires more depth or requires more focus and that focus will ultimately speed you up. And one example I'll throw out is engineering. So when I think about engineering and I think about wonderful things like technical debt, which is this idea that you are accruing debt that you're going to have to pay down later on as you're writing code because the code gets old, for lack of a better word, or the code. As you pile on more code into your software, you end up having all these, all this code and that code can be on top of each other.

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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