Earlier today I was reminded of startup stages being described as “the jungle,” “the dirt road,” and “the highway”. These names have been around for many years (here’s a post from 2010 on it) and the idea still holds true today. Similar to the concept of pilot it, nail it, and scale it (see 4 Startup Stages in 8 Words), these names are more colorful and memorable.
Let’s look at the jungle, dirt road, and highway stages of a startup:
- Jungle – Lots of searching. No clear path. Distractions everywhere. Very tough conditions.
- Dirt Road – A path! Progress. Speed is picking up but lots of bumps in the road. Still figuring things out.
- Highway – Speed! Smooth sailing. Tremendous momentum. Scaling. Process. Repeatability.
Most startups never make it out of the jungle. The ones that do aren’t guaranteed success but cover a good bit of ground on the dirt road. Finally, a select few make it to the highway and go fast and far.
What else? What are some more thoughts on the jungle / dirt road / highway idea?