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Insider Tip: How to Attack New Venture Opportunities
Chris Tacy, Mach49 Board Member-in-Residence

Let me tell you a secret. I love frameworks of all kinds. It’s just the way my brain is wired. Big picture first, then strategy, and only after that execution tactics. When you have a holistic view, business challenges (and opportunities) just make more sense. 

One of the most enjoyable aspects of my job at Mach49 is helping clients see the world more clearly, through a sharper and wider-angle lens. My colleagues and I are a unique cadre of successful entrepreneurs, VCs, and C-Suite executives who have collectively generated over $50B in market value in the course of our careers. Our success depends on combining a holistic view of the market with unrivaled experience in venture investing. 

To think and execute like a Silicon Valley insider, it’s critical to develop a venture mindset that enables you to identify growth opportunities and adopt the right method for successfully pursuing them. For instance, is the opportunity best suited to inorganic growth through merger and acquisition, or is it best solved through early stage investing, or is it an incubation opportunity?

The framework below is one of the best tools I’ve used to help clients adopt the right method when deciding how best to attack areas of opportunity. The tool is particularly useful when it comes to corporate strategy and development, which are notoriously difficult for mature companies stuck in well-grooved routines. 

Take a peek at the image below, paying close attention to the X and Y axes. 

To use the framework, simply take the opportunity you're considering and map it onto the structure based on Market and Technical Viability, from Unproven to Proven in each case. Where your opportunity falls indicates your best path forward, whether it’s investment and incubation, customer development, standard operational improvement, prototyping and testing, or merger and acquisition.

Let’s take a closer look. Imagine you have a technically viable idea, but you’re only partially confident of market viability (for instance, you have no customer insights to validate), then your opportunity falls into Customer Development. In other words, the right path would be to follow the Customer Development process in order to prove or disprove market viability, before making any additional investment.

This framework also helps clarify what your target win rate for each area should be. This is vital in understanding risk / reward, and in building a diversified portfolio. Plus… it allows you to set leadership expectations a bit more clearly.

For instance, anything falling into the upper right corner shouldn't be treated as opportunity and rather as ordinary Incremental Operational Growth and iteration. The upper right corner represents pure incremental growth, while the lower left represents potential exponential growth, with a gradient between the two points.

By applying this framework, you bring greater structure and rigor to your efforts and materially improve outcomes. One of the things I love most about the work I do at Mach49 is utilizing these kinds of frameworks to help our customers generate new business initiatives and new ventures with the greatest chance of success. There’s nothing more gratifying than witnessing a customer achieve their goals. 

Mach49 partners with the Global 1000 to create a pipeline and portfolio of new ventures that disrupt markets and create new ones. We are 100% focused on execution. Learn more at www.Mach49.com.

Chris Tacy is a Board Member-in-Residence at Mach49. Learn more about him on LinkedIn.

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