The word ‘moment’ is defined as a fixed reference point in time, or the effect of a force for change when the turn becomes clear. Our entrepreneurial journey is full of moments we will recount here – Fun, profound and leading to lots of lessons learned!
We code in sprints, but sell in marathons 🙂
- A moment during the first month of starting this new venture – Making investment risk decisions is so much easier than sales! (Leading to a new-found respect for folks that have mastered sales skills)
- A moment of feedback from a team member: do not be tentative in your ask (a personal favorite)
- Demoing functionality to a prospective user who ‘gets it’ – there are a lot of such moments in one sales cycle.
- That moment of joy when you get a sign of life from a prospective user who has been silent for a long time, and you almost gave up.
Clients will tell you how to sell to them. You have to listen – A well-wisher.
It takes a village!
- When the team goes above and beyond and works for two consecutive weeks without a day off to complete a project, not because they were asked to, but because they want to.
- When you can’t make a client meeting and your team member changes their evening plans and picks up the slack, in order not to miss the opportunity.
- When team members are motivated to learn something useful (sound practices in new tech, internal efficiency, client responsiveness), research and master it, and share it with rest of the team.
Empathy is crucial
- When a billionaire investment entrepreneur asks after level of ulcers… the realization that this is indeed a shared experience.
- Helping someone get a job with a prospective user when you also want to pursue business with that team for your own organization
- Always making introductions when you can (A huge lesson learned from the CTO of a hedge fund who introduced us to our first endowment prospect, without any shared history or commonality in education, heritage, or employer. When asked “Why he was doing it?”, his answer was: “Why not?”)
Taking comfort in “No”
- “Could we get the whole platform for just $1000 a year?” Realizing what clients would not be good for the long term business model. Your best clients want you to be profitable, and to be around to continue to support them.
- Transforming the platform for a different industry to gain more revenues, essentially a halfhearted pivot.
- Mixing business models to generate revenues. Given our industry expertise, we have often been asked to provide consulting overlay. Our answer has been to politely decline. We are a data and tech company, and we do not want any conflicts of interest with our users over revenue.
- Moments when early adopters put up with bugs in the platform because they can clearly see the light at the end of the tunnel. (And in turn, you become more tolerant to bugs from other tech that you use.)
- A feature that you thought would be very helpful, and agonized over, gives a moment of delight to clients – and they share it with you!
- When contacts make introductions for you, without even being asked or prompted. Then you know they are believers.
- When users state clearly that they want to partner with you in building a product of the future, together – moments of shared excitement!
- When we ask the question of our prospective users: “What is it worth to you?!”
Spotted in Central Park: A dad running uphill while pushing a toddler in a wagon and you hear the toddler repeatedly cheer “Come on, Dad!”
Rest of the world
- When folks outside the industry comment in disbelief: “Again, billions of dollars are being managed How?” We revel in the potential of this opportunity that we are building on.
We are grateful to our team, clients, investors, prospects and network in defining these moments with us!