Just enough is enough.

Some time back I worked for an organisation which was a startup but it was actually incubated out of a large well established business. There are definitely benefits to being a “seedling” from a large tree like this but there are some deep deep pitfalls as well.

The business model for this organisation was an unusual one in that there were essentially 2 parties at opposite ends of a supply chain which we were connecting together. An additional complication was that this organisation was attempting to create their market instead of entering or attempting to disrupt a current one.

The supplier end of the chain was the paying customer but the value proposition to them of the product was based on cost-reduction. This is almost never as sexy and easy to sell as revenue generation but is still big bucks if you have billions of dollars locked up in your supply chain.

The consumer at the client end of the supply chain were being sold the product on an even more amorphous”ethical” grounding and fundamentally they were the ones which made the proposition appealing to the customer  (if you had a critical mass of these consumer clients, the suppliers were interested in talking to you but not before). In other words, you had to sell to them to sell to the money.

An incredibly difficult and finely balanced sell all around as I’m sure you’ll agree.

The initial idea behind all this was great, the technology was excellent, the team were superb but the organisation as a whole was a total nightmare.