This "Founders' FAQ" is work in progress as of March 2023. Please bear with us while we push more of our content in here.

Midstage Founders' Frequently Asked Questions | See all

Why focus often leads to more success

Focusing on a single ideal customer profile, one product, and one geography provides mid-stage startups with several benefits that improve their chances of success. This approach aligns with various business concepts presented by Geoffrey Moore, Chris Zook, and the Ansoff Matrix:

  1. Geoffrey Moore’s “Crossing the Chasm”: According to Moore, startups should first penetrate a niche market and establish a dominant presence before expanding to other markets. By focusing on one ideal customer profile and one product, startups can position themselves as experts and better address the specific needs of their target customers. This lays a solid foundation for successful market expansion. Source: Moore, G. (2002). Crossing the Chasm. Harper Business.
  2. Chris Zook’s “Core Strategy”: Zook proposes that businesses should prioritize their core competencies to create unique value propositions and build differentiation. By focusing on one customer profile and one product, startups can concentrate their resources on enhancing their core proposition, fostering innovation, and creating a competitive advantage before diversifying. Source: Zook, C. (2001). Profit from the Core. Harvard Business School Press.
  3. The Ansoff Matrix: The Ansoff Matrix is a strategic planning tool that outlines four possible growth strategies: market penetration, market development, product development, and diversification. Focusing on one ideal customer profile, one product, and one geography implies a market penetration strategy, which minimizes risk as startups deal with familiar customers and products. This enables them to establish a strong market presence and customer base before moving to other strategies that require additional investment and involve higher risks. Source: Ansoff, H. I. (1957). Strategies for Diversification. Harvard Business Review.

In summary, concentrating on one ideal customer profile, one product, and one geography allows mid-stage startups to effectively use their resources, minimize risks, establish expertise, create a competitive advantage, and foster a strong customer base. These aspects can help startups solidify their positions and prepare for successful expansion into additional products, customer profiles, and geographies.

Reviews from Workshop Participants:


“Expert facilitation and insight into how to move the group.”

Chis Berg, Director of Digital Acceleration, InRule
Chis Berg
Director of Digital Acceleration, InRule, Chicago, IL


About Midstage Institute

We focus our practice on midstage startup companies that need to remain agile, and where what used to work for the smaller startup just isn’t as effective anymore.


We ensure founders and leadership teams win, with our over 40 years experience in venture-backed tech startups. We are Silicon Valley veterans with the scars and wins to prove it. We don’t use an inflexible off-the shelf methodology, we adapt best practices to you, your market, your company, and your leadership team.


We always:

  • Focus on right sized best practices to get to the next level
  • Focus on the 20% of effort that will yield you 80% of the benefits
  • Teach Perfection is the enemy, better is your partner and ally
  • Align with your business needs so you can thrive