Start-ups are all around us in the Bay Area. A recent research study from NBER pointed out that we are more likely to be entrepreneurs if we grew up around a density of firms. That makes sense. One thing we can learn from the start-up crowd is agility. Did you know that many start-ups make significant changes to their business within 18 months of launching? It’s often because what they think the market wants or needs is just plain wrong. In the start-up space it’s crucial that business owners are able to pivot and make adjustments quickly lest they run out of cash. Are more established businesses really that different? Sometimes larger and older businesses miss the forest for the trees and don’t make important changes to product mix, staffing, leadership, business model, and so forth until long after they should have. Action steps: Look at your business from top to bottom. What big hints at necessary changes are you overlooking? Want to read more in to this subject? Here’s a great post on the topic from Steve Blank.