When building a new startup, the temptation to execute multiple ideas or constantly pivot to new, untested concepts can be overwhelming. However, seasoned entrepreneurs and successful startup founders often emphasize one critical piece of advice: go all in on your best idea. This strategy maximizes your chances of success and ensures you put your resources and energy where they matter most. In this article, I’ll explore why focusing on your best idea is essential, the dangers of spreading yourself too thin, and how to know when it’s time to pivot.

Let’s start with an example of the pitfalls of doing too much.

For the past two years, I’ve been running growth and contributing to products at a startup. They’ve been building brilliant products for a specific professional demographic. About 20 months ago they introduced their (in my opinion) best idea. They beta-tested an early version of it to a modestly positive response from their customers. Once tested, they took a reasonable approach that most startups would take, upgrading the product and experience based on customer feedback, and began marketing to existing and new customers. Let me continue by saying while I’m being strategic by not naming the startup or the industry, this specific product solved a massive problem and alleviated major frustration for the industry.

Sure enough, as expected, adoption and utilization started to increase. We went from occasional use to weekly use to daily use. We laid out logical enhancements and monetization opportunities, and the best part… no real-world competitors. Customers were raving about the product, and their customers were raving about it, too. We were on a glide path towards corning the market… and then…

We hired a very seasoned and experienced product manager who, after much research, recommended we add two more incredibly consequential products. They’re brilliant products. They significantly improve the lives of the end-users and solve real problems. But instead of solving problems for the customers, they’ve only created problems for the company. We don’t have the budget, the manpower, the marketing power, or the attention to do all three.

Since we went down the road of building the other two projects, the main product hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves (You know, the one that was growing like wildfire.) So instead of 3 amazing products that everyone is using, we’ve gone to 1 product that everyone used to use and drove growth in the organization, two products that we don’t have the budget to complete and also have a lot of competition, that we don’t seem to be able to sell fast enough to justify the monthly burn.

The Power of Focus

Focusing solely on your best idea is not merely a strategic decision; it’s necessary for resource allocation and brand identity. Startups inherently operate with constrained resources—limited time, capital, and human talent. Diluting these precious resources across several ideas invariably diminishes the potential of each.

  1. Resource Allocation: Startups typically have limited resources, including time, money, and personnel. Concentrating on one idea can help allocate these resources more effectively. Splitting your focus among multiple ideas dilutes your efforts and can produce subpar results.
  2. Brand Consistency: A clear, focused vision helps build a strong brand identity. When your startup is known for one great idea or product, it is easier to communicate your value proposition to customers and investors.
  3. Efficient Problem-Solving: When all team members are focused on the same goal, problem-solving becomes more efficient. You can quickly identify issues, brainstorm solutions, and implement changes without the distractions of competing priorities.

The Pitfalls of Multitasking

Many entrepreneurs fall into the trap of trying to do too many things simultaneously. This multitasking mindset can be detrimental for several reasons:

  1. Dilution of Effort: When you spread your efforts across multiple ideas, none of them receive the attention they deserve. This often results in mediocre outcomes rather than a standout success.
  2. Increased Stress: Managing multiple projects increases stress and can lead to burnout. The mental load of juggling various tasks can hinder creativity and decision-making.
  3. Inconsistent Messaging: If your startup is pursuing multiple directions, it can confuse your audience. Consistent messaging is key to building a loyal customer base, which is difficult to achieve when your focus is scattered.

The Value of Commitment

Commitment to a single idea demonstrates confidence and determination. It shows investors, customers, and team members that you believe in your vision and are willing to see it through. This commitment can be a driving force for your startup’s culture and can inspire others to share in your dedication.

  1. Investor Confidence: Investors are more likely to support a startup with a clear, focused plan. They want to see that you believe strongly in your idea and are committed to making it work.
  2. Team Morale: A unified goal can boost morale and foster a collaborative environment. When everyone is working towards the same objective, it creates a sense of purpose and camaraderie.
  3. Customer Trust: Customers are likelier to trust a brand with a clear, consistent message. Focusing on one idea builds a stronger relationship with your audience.

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Knowing When to Pivot

While it is crucial to go all in on your best idea, there are times when a pivot is necessary. However, this should be a strategic decision based on data and analysis rather than a knee-jerk reaction to new ideas. Here are some signs that it might be time to pivot:

  1. Lack of Market Response: If your product or service is not gaining traction despite your best efforts, it may be time to reevaluate your approach.
  2. Resource Drain: If you are consistently over budget and not seeing returns, a pivot might help you find a more sustainable path.
  3. New Information: Sometimes, new information or market changes can make your original idea less viable. A pivot can help you adapt to the new landscape in these cases.
  4. Feedback from Stakeholders: Pay attention to feedback from customers, investors, and team members. If there is a consensus that a change is needed, a pivot may be worth considering.

How to Pivot Effectively

If you decide to pivot, it’s important to do so thoughtfully. Here are some steps to ensure a successful pivot:

  1. Analyze Data: Look at all available data to understand why your original idea is not working and what changes might improve your chances of success.
  2. Develop a Clear Plan: Outline a clear plan for your pivot, including new goals, strategies, and resource allocation.
  3. Communicate Clearly: Ensure all stakeholders know the pivot and understand its reasons. Clear communication helps maintain trust and support.
  4. Stay Focused: Even when pivoting, staying focused on the new direction is crucial. Avoid falling into the trap of constantly changing course.


Building a successful startup requires unwavering focus and commitment to your best idea. Going all in on a single vision allows you to maximize your resources, build a strong brand, and create a cohesive team dedicated to achieving a common goal. While it is important to be open to pivots when necessary, these should be strategic decisions based on careful analysis. Remember, in the world of startups, dedication to one great idea can be the key to turning your vision into reality.

About the Author: Jeremy Mays

Is the Founder and CEO of Transmyt Marketing. He's an accomplished, award winning marketer, responsible for guiding companies though the complex challenges of navigating and succeeding in today's digital economy. To get in touch, you can email him at jeremy@transmyt.com

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