Cardsmith

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TenX Accelerator Program – Milestones for Startups

A couple of weeks ago, I discussed using the concept of project milestones in unpredictable creative project like starting a business. This post is a quick follow-up and shout-out to our mentors at TenX in Portland, who have cleverly built a whole program that helps startup companies grow from a concept with no revenue to $1 million in revenue.

Milestones are a central part of the TenX program. In just six or 12 weeks, TenX participants successfully complete 12 or 24 milestones—an average of two per week!

As I engaged in this program (taught by the incredible Carolynn Duncan) the lesson that really left an impression on me was the combined concepts of time-boxing and minimum viable product. Finishing about two milestones a week forces you to get real with time management.

You have no choice but to create something, and you learn that your team is capable of more than you thought it was.

Another key takeaway: perfection is the curse of startups. Instead, be good enough for now.

You can always come back and make improvements later. It’s almost always better to get something done now and move forward.

Startup CEOs can choose from a variety of milestones when participating in the TenX program—here’s the menu.

Here is Carolyn Duncan’s comment on why TenX is so keen on using milestones in their Accelerator Programs:  

Carolynn Duncan

“At TenX, we love the concept of milestones, because of the hope and the real momentum that it gives our founders. The entrepreneurial journey can become very disorienting, especially after a few months or a year or two of effort, without tangible results. Using milestones to set and accomplish developmentally significant objectives, focuses you and your team on things that really matter, that can lift the team into another level and start to generate traction and cash, two things that are the lifeblood of keeping a business organization in motion. We originally began using Milestones to encourage and focus the founders in our accelerator on making swift, meaningful progress and have always seen positive impacts when entrepreneurs choose to be doers, instead of only talking or thinking about ways to improve the business, without any concrete action steps”.