Like explorers drawing maps of newly discovered coasts, startup founders define fact-based roadmaps for incubating new businesses and strategies. They can then share their maps with fellow travelers and stakeholders to help them clarify goals, delineate context, negotiate uncertainties, and recover from errors and setbacks.
Maps provide leaders with control by helping coordinate ad hoc activities with structured analysis and planning. Art and science merge. The history of entrepreneurship is littered with failed ventures that advanced too fast and too far along just one or two startup incubation vectors, over-engineering an early prototype before validating customer readiness to buy, for example. Or by raising a lot of equity funding before the opportunity and business model were fully vetted.
Define milestones, checkpoints, and metrics enable: reorienting, or pivoting, through frequent course corrections as the performance of people and things fail to conform to expectations or as the environment changes; communication and dialog with stakeholders and advisors; and alignment as venture craftsmen synchronize progress along all three critical dimensions.