This post originally appeared on The Basis Point: Speed Freaks & Startup Business Models
I’m just starting month 16 of running The Basis Point full time as a strategy/brand consultancy. Thankfully it’s going well, and I get asked about growth plans constantly. So here’s a 25/8 installment to connect the dots between growth, speed freaks, startups, and business models overall.
SPEED FREAKS & STARTUP BUSINESS MODELS
I get why everyone asks the growth question.
Because what is a business if it’s not growing?
This speed freak mindset is the going-in position for most, and it’s only gotten worse in this capital-rich, VC-fueled era.
Blitzscaling is what renowned VC Reid Hoffman calls it. He wrote three books to set up a model that’s permeated startup and overall business culture.
Book 1: The Startup of You. This is about running your career like a mini startup. But it’s really an empowering way of telling you the business world owes you nothing and you must package and sell yourself accordingly.
Book 2: The Alliance. This is about how your employer owes you nothing, and a job is just a “tour of duty.” But again, it tells you this in an empowering way because, remember from book 1: you’re the startup of you. So you’re really in control, right?
Book 3: Blitzscaling. This is about hypergrowth. Reinvent whole industries, and do it immediately. Always immediately. This empowers a new generation of speed freaks and startup business models as technology makes everything ever faster.
These books scared the sh*t out of me and were part of my reason for taking The Basis Point from side hustle to full time.
EXPERTISE WINS THE LONG GAME – ALWAYS
But the real reason was a long game based on monetizing expertise in banking, housing, and fintech.
As a banking and housing pro, I saw countless consumer clients’ lives transformed (for better and worse) as technology disrupted their industries.
No surprises: people with legit expertise and/or a nimble approach did better as their industries transformed. Some parlayed specific expertise into bigger pay and roles. Others took pay cuts and altered long-term paths/roles to refresh skills.
I knew finance and real estate disruption would be last. It’s way harder for high-tech to disrupt high-regulation, high-touch businesses.
So I developed my long game about 8 years ago. Build a proper executive resume and expertise so I’ll be ready to capitalize when disruption hits banking and real estate (fintech wasn’t a word yet).
The plan is working so far, and we’re well positioned to advise companies from the center of the banking, housing, fintech ecosystem.
The plan is rooted in technical banking, housing, and fintech expertise, and being lean enables us to play the long game.
That’s why Blitzscaling isn’t part of our plan.
We’re here to help our Blitzscaling clients think clearly and make smart decisions amidst the chaos.
We’re the speed freak whisperers.
This service is absolutely necessary as tech changes business models constantly.
We all call this stuff disruption, but really the banking and housing matrix is just being rebuilt again by newer, better technology.
As such, everyone’s competing with everyone, and companies must quickly examine every move from every angle. This includes dealmaking as the economic cycle matures.
So I’m unwavering on the expertise. I won’t hire for the sake of hiring.
We must protect The Basis Point brand and the value we bring.
IS GROWTH ABOUT IMPACT, REVENUE, OR PROFIT?
I don’t care if that means we grow slower.
Is this my Jerry Maguire “fewer clients, less money, more attention” manifesto that causes clients to fire us?
Maybe. But I doubt it.
It’s raining clients who all ask us to help solve the same problems: How are all the housing, finance, and tech dots connected? And how do we package and sell this story to build revenue, brand, and reputation with all constituents (sales/product orgs, customers, consumers, investors, partners, regulators, press, industry, etc.)?
So I’ve been happy these first 15 months to let client collaborations show us the way toward growth.
That’s why I don’t think it’s right to ask: What is your business if it’s not growing?
The better questions are: What impact do you have on clients? How profitable are you?
We have strong answers to these questions, and I believe that serves our long game.
– 25/8 is a segment we use to discuss entrepreneurialism and work culture.