Startups, particularly if they are not doing something fundamentally new but rather improve upon an existing solution (which arguably is what most do), need to deliver a significant improvement over the status quo to matter and thus succeed. An often discussed concept in this context is the “10x, not 10%” improvement).
It sounds great, makes sense and has the quality of a rallying cry. Having talked about this a fair bit myself, I come to believe that there is a component in this notion, which is overlooked: The frame change.
We see the world through frames: They are useful constructs to make sense of the world and absorb the vast amount of information we are exposed to every day. However, they also lock us into a specific perspective which, more often than not, prevents us from seeing the breakthroughs which can yield our desired 10x improvement.
To get to 10x outcomes, you need to break your frames.
To do so, you first need to become aware of your frames: Which assumptions are you holding about the world affecting the product or service in question? What do they mean regarding the way you build, market, sell and service your product or service? What could alternative views be (go as broad as you can and also consult outsiders — as often one cannot see the forest for the trees)? How would they influence how you think about your product, service or company?
Map out the answers to these questions and let them guide you through an explorative phase of how to create outsized improvements to the problem you are solving. Then consolidate these ideas into possible solutions and identify the one with the highest impact-to-feasibility ratio.