Use this proven offensive army tactic to win at startups

Last week I had the great pleasure to interview Holger for the Startup Maze podcast. He is a serial entrepreneur, an ex Dutch army officer and currently the founder and CEO of (more on that here).

As we were discussing, he mentioned a tactic which he learned as an officer and which he adapted for his startup, so he can maximize ROI. I forgot the actual name, so I’ll call it: the 5-point attack with 1 reserve behind.

The 5-point attack with 1 reserve behind

It goes like this: whenever you’re not sure where’s the weakest point in your enemy’s defence line, a common tactic is sending out 5 small groups of soldiers to attack in 5 different points.

Meanwhile, the rest of your unit (the reserve) waits behind. As soon as the weakest point is discovered, the entire reserve steams ahead and crushes the enemy line through the weakest point.

Makes sense, right?

Holger took this tactic and used it to maximize the ROI for his startup. Whenever he is unsure where to put his money, he “deploys” a 5-point investment in the most promising opportunities. The one that proves to be the winner is the one he invests in.

What a great way to frame your challenges! What I like about it is that is pretty simple and quite intuitive, yet I never heard someone think like this before.

So, there you go. Use this tactic wisely and if you enjoyed this post please share it with your friends.

Leave a Reply