Building and maintaining a successful startup requires founders to see the entire playing field. Without that clear view, founders risk missteps when it comes to hiring, raising funds, launching a product or making an acquisition.
Essentially, any big decision can end in disaster if a founder loses perspective or lacks self- and situational awareness.
Eghosa Omoigui, the founder and managing general partner of EchoVC Partners, a seed and early-stage venture capital firm that serves underrepresented founders and underserved markets, has helped entrepreneurs navigate the first steps of starting a company and laying the right foundation early on.
Omoigui, who was previously director of consumer internet and semantic technologies at Intel Capital, advocates for founders to develop their own All-22 tape — a tool used by professional football coaches that allows the viewer to see all 22 players on the field at the same time. It improves a coach’s line of sight and, most importantly, helps avoid missing a critical motion or player.
The concept of this tool can — and should — be applied in the startup world as well, Omoigui said during the virtual TC Early Stage event.
Omoigui explained what it means to have an All-22 tape and the steps founders should take to develop a skill set that will allow them to see and understand the playbook from all sides.
The big picture
Before getting into the steps, it’s important to understand what the aim is. The upshot? For founders to have the best and most complete view of their company, team, investors, product and competitors.
For founders, that means being able to zoom out and see each of their employees’ points of view and being inclusive. Without an All-22 tape, founders can mistakenly spend too much on engineering while ignoring the product rollout strategy or forget to communicate with employees outside of their bubble of interest. A company can become fragmented as more blind spots emerge, which can ultimately lead to oversights that damage its reputation, operations or even its ability to raise money from investors.
For operators and investors, what we see is usually very driven by where we stand, or where we sit. And what you have to discover really is: How can I get much better views? And the best view is always the plan view, you’re looking from the top down, you’re watching the movement, and you have line of sight, you know, that’s essentially 360 degrees. (Timestamp: 3:40)
Situational and self-awareness