For those of you who have ever started a business, you understand with the commitment, time and energy that go into such an endeavor. You feel energized and exhausted all at once. Life feels good.
A couple of months ago, a “light bulb” moment occurred during a peer group meeting of Silicon Valley VP of Sales. During this meeting we were discussing the surprisingly short shelf life of a VP Sales, which in the Valley runs an average of only 18 – 24 month. We estimate that this issue is costing companies over $30 billion a year in lost revenues. The question was raised as to why no one is doing anything to fix the root issues negatively affecting sales organizations and causing this high churn rate. That question was the catalyst that drove a select handful of the participants to meet in the succeeding weeks to brainstorm the feasibility of a starting a business to attack this issue.
Ultimately, three individuals emerged from this group who had the interest, capability and willingness to solve this problem. These individuals were Kevin Lynch, Dave Dotzler and myself. Although we all have a common background as sales leaders, we each brought unique talents to the table that made our partnership stronger than the sum of its individual parts. Not long after, we added a fourth partner, Craig Quantz, who brought additional unique talents to our team.
Since the day that Kevin, Dave, Craig and I made the commitment to start our own firm, it has been a non-stop blizzard of activity, from defining the scope of our business and creating products to website design and marketing, as we build the company’s infrastructure. Our combined 100+ years of business experience gave us the know-how to build a business from scratch, but the biggest challenge we’ve faced is prioritizing the dizzying array of task that need to occur in a limited timeframe to launch our company.
From a personal perspective, committing to going from being an employee of a company to the owner of my own business is truly a paradigm shift that presented a fair amount risk. I was surprised and excited that my wife was less concerned about the risk and more enthusiastic about the opportunity. She always pushed me to start my own company or to try new things. Friends echoed the same message of encouragement. Isn’t Silicon Valley about risk?
One of the competencies I bring the company is my expertise using social media in business-to-business applications. As such, part of our marketing plan is to use organic social media to attract attention to our company’s launch. By leveraging our extensive personnel networks, along with the networks of our friends, our goal is to have over 5 million eyes read about our company on our launch day.
The clock is ticking down to September 4, 2013 and we are now only nine days from launch! Wish us luck!