Start Up Stories

Oh, We Call That A Wicked IT Problem

Posted in Uncategorized by Devon on March 30, 2009

It’s late October in New England and wet leaves squish beneath my heals as I exit the Kendall Square T-station. Merritt and I are working around the clock to meet a commitment we’d made to a potential investor. We would keep our promise and ship the business plan on-time. The plan itself was well crafted but would have some remaining strategic problems. We would ultimately solve these problems but, the plan would mark a key shift in strategy which would ultimately point the firm in an entirely new direction; the killer application we would ultimately execute on.

I remember this feeling from another start-up — that sense that an old business model is dead and a real killer application has come into view; it’s a great feeling though the transition from founding principles can cost a night’s sleep or two. The great news is what took me 3-4 years to figure out 20 years ago, took 4 months this time – that’s progress.

The question here is, “Do you have a set of reliable sign-posts that will tell you that you are on the right path? What would it look like if you were headed in the right direction?”

One way to know that you’ve taken the right turn is to ask your prospective customers if they have a name for the problem you solve. If they do, rejoice and follow the scent – you’re probably on the right road!


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