Get to Day 1

In Vail Daily: May 14, 2014 {Link}

“An innovator who has brilliant ideas but lacks the discipline and persistence to carry them out is merely a dreamer.“ - Malcolm Gladwell - David and Goliath.

A journey of a million steps starts with one, though it still leaves 999,999 left undone.

My personal adaptation of Confucius’ quote, thought up while walking the Camino De Santiago, has influenced my view of strategy and new products ever since.

From my position in business, as an outside consultant and attorney, I am frequently brought in on projects at what I consider the before "Day 1" time period.

The client says, “We have a viable product, we know the market wants it. The market wants this, and that, and this. Soon we’ll be at x5 this, and x45 that! Then we can buy a building, make our own database, hire a sales staff….”

However, the counsel most people seem to need, is that everything is just a dream before "Day 1".

My personal startup, a sober living house for adult males, has a baked in business plan, potential financiers, industry support, market demand, and a really good team. What we don’t have is a zealous housing or real estate advocate in the Vail Valley.  Without this I can not get to “Day 1.”

When I pitch the idea, a product that is financially viable and has a benefit to society that is equally valuable, everyone loves it. However, what everyone really loves what the company ‘could’ be in 3-5 years. When looking for advice and help I have learned to just butt in (politely) at this point and say ‘yeah, but I’m looking to get to "Day 1".’ Hence the conversations stall, stop, or move back into the world of theory.

The shear volume of times this has occurred has lead me to adopt "Day 1" strategy as a dominant theme in strategic planning. I know that hope is not a strategy for post "Day 1" concerns, however if you are the type of person or company that keeps moving to Day 100 or Day 1,000, I have complete faith that you can create and implement Day 100 or 1,000 strategies after "Day 1".

The implementation of “Day One” thinking is not complicated at all. In fact it is a derivative of my “step 1: define success, step 2: only do things that increase your likelihood to succeed” which ran in the Vail Daily October 10, 2013. If success is defined as achieving the objectives you are currently dreaming about, what must you do today to most increase your likelihood to succeed? Get to “Day 1”.

Or, in metaphorical terms, you can’t run the race until you get to the start line. Everything else is a dreamer’s quest.

But hey, what do I know?


While Brad is an evil, evil, attorney - licensed in Colorado, this article is not meant to convey any type of legal advice. If you want to talk about the legal issues contact a lawyer.