Had a good luncheon session yesterday with Yorgen Edholm at the Cabana Hotel. It’s pretty interesting for him to share his knowledge on starting his previous company, Brio Technology.
A few takeaways from the session:
- Plan is just a tool to measure performance, not meant to be follow strictly. Also, be flexible with the plan.
- Good to hire marketing persons to generate more interests and leads, as compare to salespersons
- Don’t hire too many salespersons, because more salespersons does not mean more sales. He mentioned that he used to have a salesperson who are as efficient as the other eight salespersons he had. Also, scarcity of salespersons will help to come out more innovative ways to handle sales.
- Don’t let salespersons hijack the company. He mentioned that a salesperson could deliver promises like “This $Xmillion deal could go through if the product have Y features.”
- Deal direct with the customers’ feedback/request. Sometimes, the salesperson might misinterpret the customers’ expectation of a feature as their core competence is selling, not engineering.
- Beware of Linear Thinkers. Linear Thinker is usually someone who has a set of rules in handling situations. These often come from someone who has past experience in large corporation. What can be done in the large corporation are not necessary useful in a startup.
- Linear Thinkers and Genius doesn’t get along well. Genius is sometimes erratic.
- From Yorgen’s experience, he found out that “there is no positive correlation between more education and better problem solving ability in a startup environment”
- Startup is more of an art than science.
- Too much money and people are a big problem in a startup. When having too much money, procrastination tends to happen.
- A specialist that doesn’t understand the situation should move on. He mentioned that he once used to have an experience CEO in the board of directors, but this person doesn’t understand the situation of the company. He only give advise based on what he experience in the past.
- Don’t start the company with spouse and family members.
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