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The Growth Gap

What is it?

The absence of real-time leading indicators and a key North Star Metric to guide daily operations of execution teams.

Detailed Description

Entrepreneurs are constantly striving for sustainable and rapid growth. However, many companies often encounter a crucial obstacle known as the Growth Gap. Exploring this concept can provide valuable insights and strategies to gain a competitive advantage in the business landscape.

The Growth Gap refers to the disparity between a startup's current growth trajectory and its potential growth capacity. It represents the challenges faced by companies as they navigate through different stages of their business lifecycle. This concept encompasses the inevitable deceleration of growth and the subsequent need to fill the gap in order to continue scaling sustainably.

To understand the Growth Gap, it is essential to familiarize oneself with a few key terminologies:
1. Growth Trajectory: This term refers to the historical and projected growth rate of a startup. It is typically represented by key metrics such as revenue, customer acquisition, market share, or user base.

2. Potential Growth Capacity: This refers to the maximum growth rate a company can achieve based on its resources, market potential, competitive landscape, and scalability of its business model.

3. Business Lifecycle: A startup goes through several distinct stages in its journey, including ideation, launch, growth, maturity, and possibly expansion or exit. Each phase presents unique challenges and opportunities.

Now, let's delve into the benefits of understanding the Growth Gap and how it can provide a business advantage:
1. Identifying Bottlenecks: Recognizing the Growth Gap allows entrepreneurs to identify bottlenecks that hinder their growth potential. Whether it be limited resources, market saturation, operational inefficiencies, or inadequate marketing strategies, understanding the Growth Gap enables startups to pinpoint areas requiring improvement.

2. Strategic Planning: By understanding the Growth Gap, entrepreneurs can develop effective strategies to bridge the disparity between their current growth trajectory and potential growth capacity. This involves analyzing market trends, identifying untapped opportunities, optimizing operations, refining product-market fit, and fine-tuning growth strategies based on data-driven insights.

3. Resource Allocation: Understanding the Growth Gap empowers entrepreneurs to allocate their limited resources wisely. By identifying the areas with the highest growth potential, startups can prioritize investments and allocate their time, capital, and human resources strategically. This ensures optimal resource utilization and maximizes the overall growth trajectory.

4. Investor Attraction: Investors are keen to identify companies with a deep understanding of their Growth Gap. Startups that can articulate their growth potential, supported by a comprehensive growth strategy, are more likely to attract investors' attention. Demonstrating an understanding of the Growth Gap enhances a company's standing in the investment landscape, potentially resulting in increased funding opportunities and partnerships.

5. Competitive Advantage: By addressing the Growth Gap effectively, startups gain a competitive edge in the market. They can anticipate market trends, adapt quickly to changes, and proactively position themselves for growth opportunities. Furthermore, by constantly evolving and innovating to bridge the Gap, startups can differentiate themselves from competitors and establish their market leadership.

Addressing the Growth Gap is crucial for startups and venture builders aiming to achieve sustainable and rapid growth. By identifying bottlenecks, engaging in strategic planning, optimizing resource allocation, attracting investors, and gaining a competitive advantage, entrepreneurs can navigate through different growth stages, ultimately setting their ventures on a trajectory towards long-term success.

For more on the Three Gaps, visit

Strategy, Execution

Thought Leaders on this

David Isaac Mathews

Original Sources or Resources for Further Reading

David Isaac Mathews, Growth.

More Reading & Deep Dives into Growth

GROWTH: Register for Pre-Release Access To The Playbook


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