OKRs: A Simple, 2-Step Process for Achieving Extraordinary Results

I read an awesome book recently. Normally, I record a video book review, but this time I decided to write up my thoughts.

The book is Measure What Matters by the legendary John Doerr – one of the world’s best dealmakers.

Measure What Matters

Doerr is the managing partner of Kleiner Perkins, one of the most famous venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, founded in 1972.

Led by Doerr, Kleiner Perkins has made billions of dollars in profits investing in some of the largest and best technology businesses that we all take for granted today.

Like Google… Twitter… Amazon… AOL… Sun Microsystems… and hundreds more.

Doerr has a framework for making his investments profitable…

His first job was as a manager at Intel, one of the first big Silicon Valley pioneers. While working with Intel’s president and future CEO Andy Grove in the early 1980s, Doerr created this framework and catapulted Intel into the stratosphere as a technology leader.

When Doerr left Intel to join Kleiner Perkins, he used the same framework across all of his investments, starting with Google in 1999.

That framework is called OKRs.

What are OKRs?

OKRs are a simple, two-step process for achieving extraordinary results.

The O is the OBJECTIVE. The goal. The outcome. What must be achieved. Think of this as the North Star.

KRs are the KEY RESULTS. The measurable actions that must be completed to get you to your objective.

Here’s one of Intel’s early OKRs…

Back in 1980, Intel was at war with Motorola. Both were vying for dominance in the microprocessor market to power the rising demand for personal computers. This was called “Operation Crush.”

Intel’s objective was to establish the 8086 as the highest-performance 16-bit microprocessor family.

It would be measured by these key results

  1. Develop and publish five benchmarks showing superior 8086 performance.
  2. Repackage the entire 8086 family of products.
  3. Get the 8MHz part into production.
  4. Sample the arithmetic coprocessor no later than June 15.

This OKR was the driving force behind Intel’s strategy. The entire company was aligned to it. In the end, Intel won the war and went on to dominate the market for decades (and still does).

And while I’m not an engineer and don’t really grasp in detail what Intel was doing, I was blown away by the simplicity of OKRs… how they tied a major objective to the key results needed to achieve them… and how they aligned an entire company into focused action.

We’ve talked a good bit this week about the power of sheer focus

The sun emits 386 billion billion (called a quintillion) megawatts. But if you go outside without protection, you’ll likely only get sunburn.

A laser, on the other hand, emits only TWO watts, yet it can cut through steel like a hot knife through butter.

That’s the power of focus.

But here’s the best part about OKRs: You can apply them to ANYTHING. Any goal you have in your life can be achieved through your own OKR.

Let’s look at OKRs to buy a business…

Objective – To close a deal on an [insert niche] business by [insert date].

And here are the key results…

  1. Clearly define your deal specification to identify type, size and location of business.
  2. Originate at least 20 opportunities through social media, networks and direct approaches in addition to at least 10 business broker relationships.
  3. Hold at least 10 seller meetings and solicit financial data.
  4. Make at least 5 offers on businesses.
  5. Contact at least 10 financiers for the closing payment.
  6. Sign 2 LOIs (letters of intent) and close the best deal.

You see how powerful this is?

Aside from dealmaking, I’m using a massive OKR started on July 25 to completely up-level my physical body and mental toughness.

It’s a program called 75 HARD.

75 HARD is an OKR in its own right.

The objective, as I mentioned, is to completely transform your physical body and mental toughness.

The key results are…

  1. Work out twice per day for 45 minutes each, with one workout being outside.
  2. Follow a strict diet with no sugar, saturated fats or alcohol.
  3. Drink a gallon of water every day.
  4. Read at least 10 pages of personal development books each day.
  5. Journal your progress every day with a progress photo.

It’s still early for me, but this is going to be one of the most powerful transformations of my life.

It’s tough but completely worthwhile. Isn’t everything significant we want in our lives the same?

Now, here’s your homework.

Complete your own OKR for an objective you want – especially if your goal is to buy a business this year.

And read Doerr’s book. It’s a blast and I highly recommend it. There are some amazing stories about Google, YouTube, Intuit, MyFitnessPal and tons of other great uses of OKRs.

Grab your copy now from Amazon.

Until next time, bye for now.

Carl Allen

Carl Allen
Editor and co-founder, Dealmaker Wealth Society

P.S. When you’ve outlined your business-buying OKR, feel free to post it in our private Facebook group. Not yet a Dealmaker Insider? Get access here.

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