Saturday, June 27, 2009

invest early or wait for profit with small clients

I had an interesting conversation with the CEO of a new startup last week. We were discussing how I might be able to help them reach a known set of potential customers (they had a database of contacts with known demographics and buying patterns). As the discussion progressed, the CEO kept mentioning how many great ideas I had on how to improve their strategy, as well as execute on the immediate tactics. I was thinking "wow.. this is great, this deal is a shoe in, we're a perfect match".

We continued to talk for another 10 or 15 minutes and notes were being taken on the ideas we were bouncing around (not all me by far, he was an amazingly experience and knowledgeable technology exec), and then he said that he'd like to keep in touch with me and meet again in about 3 months. I asked him why we'd wait 3 months, when he'd said that the campaigns needed to run and be completed in the next 6 weeks? He said that we sounded to 'big' for the mode they were at and didn't want to make us think that although they might have champagne dreams, the definitely had two buck chuck budget.

We went on to talk a few more minutes about this issue and I assured him I understood their position, and that our/my goals were to work with interesting people, with good ideas. When these opportunities came along, budget was obviously a necesity, as we all need to feed our families, but as a company, we wanted to do engaging work, and work with interesting people as a primary objective. He continued to be concerned about leading us down the wrong road, so we agreed to speak again in a few months, which is when they thought they'd have the traction to engage with us.

I really appreciated to honesty of the conversation, but am defintitely contemplating who was right? I certainly like the idea of working with a young startup from the very beginning and help them grow, but I've certainly seen what he's talking about, where we come to an agreement based on what they can afford and then into the engagement they want more because they can now see more possibilities, and it's just not profitable or wise for us to do more for the same budget. You'd think this would be straight forward and it's a simple math problem of either they can afford the cost of our offering (they can't) so we should move on, as he indicated. But the beauty of being a human is that I get to reason, and make exceptions. when I find that special connection in a potential client, it might be worth doing a bit more and help it blossom into something great that we'd be proud to say a few years down the line, 'we've been with X since the very beginning'.

I dont' have an answer, but am defintiely pondering what I've learned, and would I do something different next time.

Friday, June 26, 2009

9 miles of altitude - good - price the following week - bad

Originally uploaded by toosuto
I spent the past weekend up in Tehachapi, between Mojave and Bakersfield, with my in laws for the weekend. On Sunday morning, Fathers Day, I went out for my normal run, which I love to do up there. It's a 4.5 mile loop, at about 5000 feet elevation (i think it's actually 4750 or something like that - i need to reinstall drivers so it shows me my elevation more clearly.

For some crazy reason, I had a bug in my bun (oh, I should also mention that as I live in Riverside, I''m accustomed to running at about 350 feet above sea level), and deciced to run a second loop, in celebration to my Fathers Day bbq extravaganza planned for later in the day. Normally, a 9 mile run is my minimum average for my weekly 'long run', but that elevation gain really does take a little more effort. Overall, it seemed like after about 6 miles, I actually seemed to be getting accustomed to it, and really thought that the last 3 miles went extremely well.

The problems started on Monday and really ran all week. I really felt tired, which I'm assuming was an after effect of the altitude. I'm sure overall it'll make me stronger - but looking at my stats for the week - i certainly wasn't breaking any speed records. After that longer run, i really do get why the pros go up to Colorado Springs and Boulder to train. Doing that for even a couple weeks and then doing a race down at sea level must be a huge help.