It should be hardly surprising to hear a Venture Capitalist utter these words. After all, isn’t startup success all about execution over the originality of the idea?
When John Doerr, arguably one of the most celebrated Venture Capitalists alive — he led early investments in Intuit, Amazon, and Google, among others — wrote these words, he meant more. (The famous mantra: “Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.” comes from Doerr.)
The actions and data Doerr refers to are engraved in the OKR methodology, which was pioneered at Intel and spread to other hugely successful companies since, such as Google, Intuit, “and fifty others”, as Doerr indicates in his 2018 book ‘Measure What Matters’ (see the link below.)
Short for Objectives & Key Results, OKR is “a sharp-edge tool for world-class execution.” The idea is to set a vision and the milestones to get there. The What, and the How.
OKRs are a brainchild of Andy Grove, the legendary Intel CEO. Doerr met Grove in 1975 at Intel, where he interned for a summer after being turned down by Silicon Valley VC Firms.
Actions and data: OKRs ensure the whole company is aligned to get to the end game one measurable step at a time. Doing it right means picking a few critical objectives, setting the goals from the bottom up, failing when necessary, stretching objectives to inspire, and “being patient; being resolute” to get to the desired place.
Doerr’s approach has disseminated across tech companies in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere and is well-known by many VCs out there. It’s one of the toolkits they use to help companies become giants and Founders realize their visions.
🗣 Have you used OKRs in your organization? What do you think of this approach?
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🔗 Measure What Matters, by John Doerr