If you want to drop me a note: hello at aspitzer.com


I love doers

Cover Image for I love doers
Andres Spitzer
Andres Spitzer

Recently I have been helping a friend to start his new company. It’s always a thrilling sensation. A new beginning, you get in deep long conversations shaping what the mission and vision of the company will be. What are the problems it’s ought to solve? What are the values and the culture that is going to make the company successful? It's invigorating, especially since everything is possible on wallboard or paper. And I’m the kind of guy that thinks that everything is possible. Opportunity is BIG.

Then you also start discussing the challenges, “how might we….?” and the amazing “what if…?”. What team would the company need to start with, what are the financials… That is also exciting, the promise of a challenge… “If it was easy someone would have done that already no?” you wonder. (and someone might have done already)

The majority of startup founders I know, thrive on those challenges and initial situations and, if not, at least are courageous enough to overcome the fear. Otherwise, they would have never started or tried. Even if the idea or company finally fails, it's already a win, a truly shaping experience. They have been more courageous than the majority of people.

Having ideas is easy, executing them is extremely hard. Key is in execution.

In today's world, is extremely unlikely that a company will succeed, or at least become a great company if you do not excel at what you do.

  • You need to excel at solving your customer need.

  • Your product needs to be better.

  • Your execution needs to be outstanding.

  • You need to deliver on your value promise to your customers.

The only way of making sure you are going to fulfill your customer need is by fully and deeply knowing your customers. Understand their problem, know their context. You need to get to know better the customer's need even better than the customer herself. Do not jump to conclusions or solutions lightly and have a lean approach to that. I don't want to talk about today about how to approach the exercise of getting your customer better but there are great approaches and even frameworks for that.

Companies define a long-term vision and a mission to get there, as Jim Collings would say a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. That is normally 10, 20 er 30 years ahead…. but, how should they start? What is the ONE thing that they should do tomorrow that will put them one step closer to the vision. Taking those first decisions is also hard, and often, first time entrepreneurs feel overwhelmed. Even if you have done it a few times it is always a challenge and every company and context is different.

In my experience, and quoting Ben Horowitz I like the approach on taking care of the three P: “People, Product, and Profits - in that order”. I believe that to be true during the whole company lifetime. It has different challenges during the different phases of the company but, in essence, those are the key priorities: you need a great team to create a great product, then profits come and you can optimize revenue generation.

People, Product, Profits - in that order.

Big “bravo” to all the people that move from ideas to execution, from a wish to realization, from a challenge to attempting to overcome it. I am sure the journey, whatever the outcome, has been amazing.

I love “doers”.

Photo credit Jonass Vidras