Startups: how to navigate at high velocity

When up to 90% of startups fail, tech entrepreneurs must do something different to get a different result and to be part of the 10%

Consumer preferences and market trends shift at an unprecedented pace making tech entrepreneurs constantly challenged to stay ahead of their competition. The key to not just surviving but thriving in this environment is mastering the art of high-velocity operations.

This requires applying practices and principles that empower organisations, especially startups and tech companies, to move swiftly in developing, deploying, and iterating their products or services. A combination of agility, speed, and leadership supported by strong analysis and decision-making skills are key.

Agility is necessary in a volatile market with unpredictable changes in the technology landscape. A product in high demand today might become obsolete tomorrow. With agility, entrepreneurs can effectively navigate this volatility. By enabling startups to pivot their strategies rapidly, adapt their products, and respond to customer needs swiftly, they can build a solid foundation of sustained growth and success in the dynamic market.

At least one founder or an advisor of the startup must have a background in agile product development or project management to eliminate the risk of not being able to handle volatility.


Innovation and product development are at the heart of tech startups. However, transforming groundbreaking ideas into market-ready products requires speed, alongside creativity and resources. Sustainable product development through rapid prototyping, testing, and iteration ensures that the startup’s operations can run efficiently.

This approach not only accelerates time-to-market but also fosters a culture of continuous improvement. By iterating their products quickly in response to real-world feedback, startups can enhance their services, stay abreast of technological advancements, and maintain user engagement. Best of all, startups can save time and money in validating their work faster to ensure none of their hard work or investments are wasted.


Securing a first-mover advantage is crucial in the tech industry. This means being either the first or among the first to launch a new technology or solution, which can significantly sway the competitive balance in favor of the innovator. Applying strong analysis and decision-making with the urgency the market demands pushes businesses to move rapidly from concept to market.

This speed to market is not just about capturing market share; it also includes setting industry standards and establishing brand authority. Acting nimbly, fast, and without fear of being first sets up any startup to lead innovation, influence the direction of technological advancements, and secure a dominant position in their industry.

High-velocity operations

Executing high-velocity operations requires more than just agility, speed, and leadership. This is where the STRIVE method comes into play, encompassing Strategic, Thorough, Risk-Informed, and Value-Enhancing decision-making. STRIVE ensures that businesses do not sacrifice caution for speed. It emphasises aligning decisions with the startup's vision, assessing risks thoroughly, and ensuring each decision adds value to the business and its offerings.

To execute at high velocity, startups must adopt agile methodologies that prioritise flexibility and customer feedback, leverage technology to streamline operations, and foster a culture of open communication to facilitate quick decision-making. Effective prioritisation and delegation are also crucial, allowing decision-makers to focus on strategic issues that align with the STRIVE criteria.

Moreover, embracing experimentation and learning from both successes and failures are essential for continuous improvement. Regular reviews and adjustments based on these experiences ensure that the startup remains agile and aligned with its strategic goals.

In summary, the competitive realm of technology entrepreneurship demands that startups not only move quickly but do so with strategic foresight and precision. By adopting high-velocity operations informed by the STRIVE decision-making method, startups can swiftly adapt to market changes, accelerate their innovation cycles, and secure the coveted first-mover advantage.

This strategic approach to high-velocity operations is what will enable startups to make a significant impact on the global tech landscape and increase their chances of success. It is essential for tech entrepreneurs aiming to leave their mark in the industry to embrace these practices.

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