A Single-Threaded Owner (or Single-Threaded Leader) is a term for a manager who is 100% focused and 100% accountable to making a company's new initiative succeed. The Single-Threaded Owner is given their mandate, which could be anything - invent a new product, launch a new line of business, migrate a company to the cloud - and every day they and their team wake up with one question: "How do I make this initiative succeed?".
In practice, Single-Threaded Owners are given very hard problems to solve. Their dedication and accountability is key, but the you can't succeed without a winning strategy from the get-go.
Launching a new business? Whether you're newly self-employed or planning to be the next Amazon, the principles for a startup founder are the same.
One of the biggest challenges of a new startup is generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs). A startup is a race: you are burning through limited funding, and every day you need to go all-out before funding runs out. Along the way, you are demonstrating progress to leadership and investors, and there's no better way to keep their confidence than pointing to a pipeline of fresh daily leads.
So how do you get MQLs for your startup ASAP?
You're at an established company that wants to break into a new market or new geography. Where do you start?
CIOs (Chief Information Officers) are smart, busy, and flooded with meetings. Internally, their peers and teams are constantly notifying them of status and new fires. Externally, they are flooded by sales calls. It's exhausting.
So how do you get an audience with them? And when you do, how do you get their attention and respect? In short: how to talk to a CIO?
Popularized by Amazon, a Single-Threaded Owner (STO) is a leader who is 100% dedicated and accountable to a new initiative such as inventing a new product, launching a new line of business, or executing a digital transformation. The Single-Threaded Owner is responsible for turning strategy into real results.
Product and service offerings follow a growth lifecycle:
Once you hit Flatline and Decline, it is very hard to bounce back. Stories of flatlining businesses that suddenly take off again are rare indeed. While there are ways to resuscitate a flatlining business, the ideal is to NEVER GET THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE and instead take the right actions to ensure continuous growth.
Who are the people that can't live without your product? Why is that product a must-have for them? And what is the difference between these must-have users compared to other users for whom it's just a nice-to-have? These questions are at the root of scaling growth. Find your must-have users.
Yet, when planning target markets, it’s human nature to want to go broad. There is a feeling of safety and comfort. “Why, my product has hundreds of uses, for everyone! Let me list the ways…” But one of the great paradoxes of growth is that, in general, the more broadly you define target markets, the less business you actually take in. It literally pays to get more targeted.
As a PM, a big part of your job is show-and-tell, whether pitching a new product or feature to your internal stakeholders, to a customer, or at a trade show. Like it or not, you are the modern-age Don Draper. Give the right pitch and you’ll unlock praise (“That’s exactly what we want!”), revenue, and recognition. Do it wrong and you’ll leave everyone scratching their heads.
This article is a complete guide to pitching digital applications that win over the audience, including how to prototype the right product, position the right demo, and say the right words when you are in the room yourself.