October 20, 2011

Outrunning the Bear

Outrunning the Bear Did you ever hear the joke about outrunning the bear?  It goes something like this: Two friends are in the woods, having a picnic.  They spot a bear running at them.  One friend gets up and starts running away from the bear.  The other friend opens his backpack, takes out his running shoes, changes out of his hiking boots, and starts stretching. “Are you crazy?” the first friend shouts, looking over his shoulder as the bear closes in on his friend.  “You can’t outrun a bear!” “I don’t have to outrun the bear,” said the second friend.  “I only have to outrun you.” Sometimes, it’s easy to get caught up in doing something absolutely well as opposed to relatively well.  We were in a situation once with a competitor where our mantra was to win all the available customers for a particular product.  Then we realized one day — we didn’t have to win all of the customers that minute, or even that year.  All we had to do was win every account that the competitor was going after to win the battle at hand.  Once the battle at hand was won, it was then time to […]

September 7, 2011

Why I Love My Board, Part III

Why I Love My Board, Part III My prophesy is starting to come true.  In Part I of this series four years ago, I asserted that Fred may be the only one of my directors who has done something this dorky, this publicly, but quite frankly, I could see any of us in the same position. Now, Brad Feld is no shrinking violet.  As far as I’m concerned, he made his film debut in the memorable “Munch on Your Bones” video (short, worth a watch if you’re a Feld groupie) something like 6 or 7 years ago for an all-hands […]

November 2, 2010

Playing Offense vs. Playing Defense

Playing Offense vs. Playing Defense I hate playing defense in business.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  But being behind a competitor in terms of feature development, scrambling to do custom work for a large client, or doing an acquisition because you’re getting blocked out of an emerging space – whatever it is, it just feels rotten when it comes up.  It’s someone else dictating your strategy, tactics, and resource allocation; their agenda, not yours.  It’s a scramble.  And when the work is done, it’s hard to feel great about it, even if it’s required and well done.  That said, […]