Competition & the Olympics

Prozo logo

Firstly, many congratulations to our portfolio company, Prozo, for making it to the finals of the Lufthansa Runway to Success. It was a proud moment to watch Ashvini Jakhar, the Founder & CEO of Prozo make it to the final three from a field of many thousands. Find out more about Prozo and the contest here.

As I was thinking about the competition and what made Prozo stand out, my thoughts turned towards the Olympic Games in Brazil. Olympic athletes spend many years honing their skills for the opportunity to compete in the Games every four years. Winning a medal is a big deal, and it should be, because the rest of the field rarely receive any recognition.

This concept has many parallels in the start-up world. If you’re not in the top two or three in a ‘winner take all’ sector, you have limited opportunities to make an impact (or make returns). Just like Olympic athletes, companies that maintain keen focus on their target market will be the ones that end up on the podium.

The other similarity is that just like Usain Bolt is able to hit another gear when competitors close in during the final 25 metres, the presence of competition allows leading companies to keep focus and not be distracted. As they learn from the mistakes of the field, winners get better and better at what they do. The divergent fortunes of Google and Yahoo in the web search business over the last two decades is case in point.

As young companies and entrepreneurs seek to grow their businesses, the image of a super focused Olympic athlete is one they should certainly keep at the front of their minds.

Author: Sumeet Pillaisumeet-colour