Purposeful Tech: Generating startup momentum & how to keep it fueled
In K-12 science, students learn momentum is mass times velocity. The power of this principle is a simple version of Newton’s first law: An object at rest will stay at rest. An object in motion will continue in motion unless acted upon by an external force.
For an organization, momentum of people, ideas and activities is real. I believe this is derived from habits, culture and the desire of individuals to thrive. Aggregated across an organization, these factors establish a reputation, deliver a brand and ultimately drive growth.
Many early-stage startups and products deliver value without detailing what it truly takes to build a product that can achieve the scale necessary to mature an organization. The barrier to maturity could be a technical solution that comes to a screeching halt when a large volume of users consume its services. Or, when a product takes so much manual intervention to on board or support customers, you can’t get the labor necessary to respond to demand.
When we mention scale here, what is generally considered is how can the business volume grow with the current capacity of the organization? What would it take to increase that volume?
Consider these questions (there are many more) and measure effort in hours for one person:
- How many calendar days will it take to convert a prospect to a customer? Does it make sense for your organization to have human interaction in the sales process?
- How many prospects can a salesperson manage? If your prospects doubled in a month, what would it take to wholly manage the relationships?
- How many customers can be on boarded in one day? If you doubled the number of customers on boarded in a day, what would be required by your organization?
- How many employees do you need to handle your existing customer base? If you doubled your customer base can they provide a healthy level of service? If not, how many additional staff would you need?
- How many calendar days are required to hire one person to augment existing staff?
- Do you have the ability for your staff to enhance your product or are they consumed by “keeping the lights on” tasks?
These simple questions all drive at a basic principle … how can an organization maintain its momentum as it responds to increased demand?
Jacob Harris is Exponential Impact’s chief technical adviser and director of engineering for North America for Cherwell Software. A technology professional and leader since 1996, Jacob been the architect behind large-scale solutions for retail systems, healthcare services, public education, procedural geometry and physical science. He is a panelist for the National Cybersecurity Center on the topic of blockchain and its impact on the industry. For several years, Jacob has advised organizations on technological impacts of emerging technology. He holds multiple Microsoft certifications and is a University of South Alabama alum with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in physics.