The Long Game

Sometimes the startup world feels like the wild, wild west with entrepreneurial cowboys emerging on every street corner, competitor shootouts in every alley and the luckiest cowboy emerges on top. The reality is that successful entrepreneurs have more in common with a winning coach than a lucky cowboy. They both think through every element of the game, know the skills of all their players and opponents, craft a careful game plan and work towards the championship rather than focusing on short-term wins. That’s how Charles Teague, founder and CEO of Lose It! grew his weight loss mobile app to a user base of 30 million all supported by his 20 employee company.

Pregame strategy

When Teague was at Microsoft in 2008, he saw his first iPhone. He was skeptical about the touch screen concept and didn’t see a future in the platform—until he actually used the phone for the first time. He instantly became a mobile advocate and left Microsoft for a venture capital firm to push mobile investments. He says you should look for the large-scale market growth areas. That’s how he knew mobile would be the next big horizon.

The goal

He wasn’t thinking about healthcare when he started looking to found his company. His goal was to advance mobile technology and he’s continued to focus on the long-term vision. Initially, he thought that no one would ͞solve͟ weight loss in the next five years and they would have the opportunity to build their company gradually. When apps like MyFitnessPal started popping up, they realized they needed to grow faster and took the necessary steps. When you stay focused on your long-term goal, you can pivot and make the necessary adjustments when you need to because you’re not distracted by what ultimately ends up being minutia.

Cover your bases

Teague’s biggest lesson from growing his company is the to-don’t list. Far more important than the typical to-do list, the to-don’t list helps you say ͞no͟. He believes business decisions and investments should be based in testing and insights rather than reacting to constant feature requests and ideas.

Do you have a to-don’t list to help with your long-term vision? Is it time to start managing the ͞no’s͟ in your life and focusing on your end game strategy? A solid business plan can lay the foundation. Give me a call to talk about how to land your home run win.

Rack It and Stack It

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