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Knowing When To Crawl, Walk, & Run - The BOSS Startup Lifecycle

Updated: Jun 27, 2022

I'm amazed how younger parents can accurately identify the age of a baby or toddler by recognizing certain benchmarks in a child’s lifecycle, like speech, size, facial expressions, and motor skills.

I mean, they can nail the age within a month simply by looking at the kid.

Similarly, a savvy investor, or successful serial entrepreneur can identify exactly where a startup is in its lifecycle by observing key metrics or characteristics.

But unlike with children, investors have potentially hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars on the line when assessing a startup’s maturity.

A common reason startups fail is thinking they’re further along in their lifecycle than they actually are. They set too high of a valuation, raise more money than they should, and reduce their ownership.

It all seems great until they hit a wall with market traction because they skipped early benchmarks in their development. The startup’s valuation drops, founders cede more ownership, and investors lose confidence.

Much like a child can’t effectively go from crawling to running, a startup will suffer scrapes and bruises if they skip important benchmarks like validating their vision with advisory boards, or identifying their Ideal Customer Profile.

The BOSS Lifecycle is a methodical, scientific process for avoiding failure, and achieving successful outcomes. It was built using 25 years of successful investment and startup experience.

The BOSS Lifecycle has 7 phases: Vision, Product, Go-to-Market, Standardization, Optimization, Growth, and Exit.

The timeline to complete the journey—from vision to exit—is roughly three to five years. But every entrepreneur’s timeline will vary slightly.

In each phase, your objective is to achieve specific metrics or tangible outputs, prior to continuing your journey.

Depending on your company's financial resources, you may also need to secure investor funding before entering the next phase.

In our next post, we’ll discuss the characteristics and benchmarks of the BOSS Lifecycle’s seven phases.

If you want to learn more about the BOSS Startup Lifecycle, register here and use the code BCP123 for access to our “Meet the BOSS” course.

We are also hosting a webinar with Marty Bickford about the Startup Lifecycle. Click here to signup.

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