A startup is a temporary organisation designed to search for a repeatable business model. Therefore, our job as a founder is to search. And since good ideas initially look like bad ones, opinions about our idea aren't terribly useful. Similarly, pitching to impress our peers isn't helpful either.
Real customer knowledge doesn’t live in a spreadsheet or around a boardroom table, so we must navigate using data from the only place that matters: the market. This is a peer-to-peer sanity check, to give and receive help on how we're choosing to navigate through uncertainty. Or in other words, startup strategy.
Split your team in half. Each half joins up with 2 other pairs from other teams, giving you a group of 6-8 people representing 3 businesses. Each business has 10 minutes to give an update and gather feedback, after which you'll return to your original team to share any learnings and plan next steps.
It's easy to slip into old habits. If someone from your group starts pitching or judging, just say so and get back on track. The goal isn't to evaluate each other's ideas; it's to help each other move faster.
What is your current learning goal? What’s the fastest and cheapest way to do it? This is your strategic heartbeat. Remember that a startup is, by definition, a learning organisation. Write down your learning goals and hold yourself accountable. It’s how you prove to yourself (and your investors and your team) that you’re making progress.