I talk about business with a lot of people. The concepts behind a business: the whys, the hows, the wheres and the whats. One thing that has always boggled my mind is exit strategies. Some companies are clearly built to be flipped (i.e. sold early on), while others are intended to be around for a long time.
In an interview with Dropbox CEO, it was brought to light that Steve Jobs wanted to buy the online storage company. Steve told them, “You don’t have a product, you have a feature.” Clearly, the team at Dropbox disagrees, but that got me thinking.
Build to Sell or Build to Grow?
Up until fairly recently, I didn’t understand people who built to flip. Yet, at 360Conferences, I really did want a bigger media company to buy us. I wasn’t building a company to flip, I just thought that while we were good at doing conferences, we’d be better applying our mentality inside a bigger media company with the resources to fund wild ideas we dreamt up. John was definitely more of the “I want to do 360 for life,” which is why I sold out my half to him. Continue reading “Features vs Products, Sell vs Grow, Corporations vs Startups”→
To date, I’ve had about a handful of entrepreneurial activities. Looking back, I realized something: You can’t plan a business. I know that sounds pretty counter-intuitive, but I’ll be honest, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. At least for me.
Don’t believe me? Alright, well, let’s take a walk down memory lane and let’s survey the land to see what happened. NOTE: I’ve had way more ideas than this, but these are the ones that I put more than a few days or weeks into.
Idea #1 – Restaurant Paging/Seating Software
I wrote a fat business plan. I did market analysis. I had a team in place and a product being built. Then I had a personal incident happen that left a bad taste in my mouth on the idea. Regardless though, I spent a few years on the idea and nothing happened. I had a great plan, but never had a product, not even a beta product. I almost became the software arm of one of my would-be competitors, though that fell through at the last-minute because they didn’t understand software.
Takeaway: You can have a great product idea, business plan and market analysis yet still not go to market with a product. In which case, what was the point of all the planning?