Jim Collins’ Good to Great is one of the best business books ever written. Although Randy Wimmer, founder of GCA, learned countless things from this book, his two biggest takeaways are “The Flywheel Effect” and the “Stockdale Paradox.” Although Mr. Collins uses these two concepts to discuss how mature “good” companies ultimately transform into “great” companies; they could not be more applicable to launching a Federal Government contracting startup company.
The Flywheel Effect is the reality that no single act caused a “good company” to become a great one. Instead, it’s the culmination of many acts. Many of these things may appear insignificant but they contribute to the momentum of the flywheel. For those of you who may not be familiar with a flywheel, think about swinging on a playground swing set. You sit down, push your legs forward and lean back. And…very little happens. You do it again, and you start to move. But just barely. You do it again and again and you start to go higher with every swing. Eventually, you’re rewarded with breathtaking arches that make you feel like you are floating in the clouds.
Which “kick of your legs” caused you to swing so high? It wasn’t just one kick. It was all of them, combined. No single action took you from sitting still with your feet on the ground to breathtaking heights. It was the culmination of many, continuous actions. Starting a Federal Government contracting startup company is no different.
It’s going to take many actions to achieve the slightest movements in your startup. Filing articles of organization, networking, creating differentiators, learning to “build” competitive proposals, and many other things are all needed for you to reach breathtaking heights. Although success in this market is definitely attainable, it won’t be easy or happen immediately. The more you learn about the Federal Government contracting industry, the more you will understand just how hard launching a successful GovCon startup is and just how doable it is to do.
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