On End Game, Roadmap, Burn Rate and Runway

Implementing your innovative idea in practice requires you to balance several things. They are all equally important and are closely related. Neglect one and it will cost you. These factors are:

  • End Game - The vision of where you are going
  • The Roadmap - How are you going to get there
  • Burn Rate - How fast are you progressing
  • Runway - How long can you sustain this

End Game

Without a vision for your innovation, you have no idea where you are heading. You could be going in the right, or wrong direction. A vision helps to bring focus and paints a clear picture of what ‘End Game’ looks like.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” - Lewis Carroll

Roadmap

The focus of such an ‘End Game’ scenario is the goal, but you can only go there one step at a time. Or a few steps at a time, but if you can reach it in one step, you weren’t ambitious from the start. You were happily iterating along. Nothing wrong with iterating, but hardly innovative. The roadmap makes sure you have defined phases to get where you want to go. It makes sure the steps are sustainable and achievable.

Burn Rate

The steps you can and have to take, impact the speed at which you can achieve your goal. The steps impact the ‘burn rate’, which together with the resources you have (money and/or otherwise) determines how long you can sustain this speed.

Runway

This impacts the length of the runway still available to you, given your current amount of resources. It is not uncommon to redshift priorities after finding out your runway is shorter than the current phase of your roadmap. Change scope, or double down on looking for funds.

Balance

All in all, it is, as with so many things, a balance game. You can ignore a factor, but it can cost you. Mastering this balancing act adequately ensures you can efficiently reach your End Game and have resources to spare for the next stage on the roadmap.