“Measure twice and cut once” is an aphorism that reminds us to “plan and prepare in a careful and thorough manner before acting. [wiktionary]” The origin of the saying lies in carpentry where if you cut a piece of wood too short, it is wasted and if too long, you’d have to cut again! This week as my class worked on figuring out who their target customers and which markets they should go after, the discussion of measurement and choices came up. Of course the class began by arguing that we should go after the biggest markets and then a few voices piped up that it might be better to focus narrower.
Even as the discussion went back and forth, my mind turned to my father who’d have turned 93 earlier this week. Whenever I was faced with a choice, he’d ask me to figure out, “Are you plain Srikrishna, or Lord Srikrishna?” By that he meant know yourself, be realistic as to scale you want to act upon and focus on what needs to be accomplished.
As my class and I watched a video of Professor John Mullins of the London Business School , talking about how to size and go after a market. He recommends in the video that it might be better to go after a smaller market that you can dominate than a seek a tiny share of a large market (a common fallacy most of do in computing top-down market size). Certainly true especially when we are getting started.
As entrepreneurs it is critical to dream big, but it is even more important to have a good measure of ourselves, before we act. Thanks Dad for the faith, support and evergreen advice. I miss you!