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Marie Kondo your Startup

Ask yourself if it sparks revenue

I don’t know about you, but I am the person that has 53 different hobbies and is good at three of them. And I don’t plan changing any time soon as I subscribe to the Jack of many trades, Master of Anything theory.

So I am like a hoarder that finds “joy” in everything. Hooray!

When it comes to Startups, I have to be more intentional. I don’t use the word “focused” because this term is used by people that have one brain cell and cannot do more than two things at once.

Eliminating the unnecessary is the most critical skill in a Startup and companies folded in just two weeks after Corona Virus started because they were on a “hiring spree, renting bigger offices” instead of “focusing”.

Can Marie Kondo give us some tips?

The KonMari rules

The KonMari method has six rules:

  1. Commit yourself to tidying up.

  2. Imagine your ideal lifestyle.

  3. Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.

  4. Tidy by category, not location.

  5. Follow the right order.

  6. Ask yourself it it sparks joy.

Let’s “Silicon Valey” these rules.

1/ Clean up your business data

“Commit yourself to tidying up” is the best advice for getting all your data in one place. If you don’t know how things are, how do you know what to improve?

The Goals in Google Analytics that no-one is checking out? Clean them up.

That Instagram account that you keep posting but you don’t track any conversions? Goodbye!

2/ Imaging your ideal “exit”

Do you want to build a business that makes tons of revenue? Is this an acquihire game so you don’t really need a lot of customers? Do you want to raise money and work hard to keep VCs happy?

Think about your future. “Imagine your ideal lifestyle”.

3/ Firing before hiring

This should be pretty obvious but 99% of VC-funded companies seem to have no idea how to do this.

Before randomly hiring people and celebrating your “headcount”, ask if every single employee provides value to your mission. More employees that you just hired to satisfy your investors means more stress on your financials, slower product development, more red tape.

Don’t hire 100 engineers. Hire ten 10x engineers (yes, I hate that term too, just play along).

Marie said it loud and clear:

Finish discarding first. Before getting rid of items, sincerely thank each item for serving its purpose.

I would add that you might want to give something more than just a thank you for your service.

4/ Hire the best: Location is irrelevant

Ok, I got the “Tidy by category, not location” and I opened it up a little bit.

I wrote in the past about working remotely and if you company STILL doesn’t allow remote working I can assume that you are running a coffee place or a restaurant.

5/ Follow the right order

When you are “cleaning up” your company, you should prioritize customers/sales, support, product development and then anything else. Nothing else should matter.

Are you taking the whole company to Tahoe this winter? Awesome. Make sure that everything else is in place first.

6/ Ask yourself if it sparks revenue/value

Whatever you are doing needs to have only one goal: revenue (or adding value to customers). No-one cares about a better looking website. Or about using the latest in backend technology. Or that you have 34303403011 employees in 232 countries.


If not, MarieKondo it.

- Sun 17 May 2020


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