What do you answer? How often do we tell the positive story – the ‘we’re doing great’ story. However, deep inside, we’re telling ourselves a different story. Sometimes the question comes as a total surprise, and we answer with the first thing that comes to mind – making us realize there’s still a gap to bridge.
But think about it: What would make you really proud of your venture? What would that feel like?
- Would it be that anecdote from a customer that recently came to you expressing how valuable you have become for them? That they would not know what their business would be like without you?
- Would it be the story about the change you seek to make for your ideal customers is actually happening? You’re experiencing clear momentum around your efforts solving something that’s truly broken – a problem that, once you are ‘done’ will have made a significant contribution to make the world a better place?
- Would it be the story about the recognition you get from the market for the impact you create? That Gartner named you ‘a vendor to watch.’ That you’ve become a magnet for the best talent in the market? That virtually every customer turns into a fan and spreads the word for you faster than you can spread it yourself.
The story you’d want to share
What’s the story? What’s that story about your software business you’d like to share with everyone because it makes you genuinely proud. If you reflect on this, what can you learn? What should you do differently to make this a reality? In my upcoming book about the ten traits of a remarkable software business, I’ve identified quite some ingredients that have a significant effect on realizing this aspired reality. Yes, it’s tough, but not impossible.
Many of us started on a compelling big idea. But then, as time evolved, things changed. The long-term focus gets replaced by short term focus. We start to take short-cuts. The focus shifts winning that next contract – even if the fit is not perfect. We tend to generalize – hoping to reach a broader audience, and before we know it, we’ve lost sight of why we started our venture to begin with.
The lesson I learned
The one thing I learned is that the ones that separate the impact they seek to create from the product have the best cards to become remarkable and deliver the most significant impact. It keeps them focused on the impact they envision to have on their ideal customers, and with that room to challenge the status quo, without being boxed around doing things ‘the expected way.’ This provides extreme clarity and will make everything else easier. You’ll see it will help you become more resourceful, and execution will be a lot more fun.
Every software business can do this, whether you are a start-up or established for over 30 years. What stops you from taking 15 minutes today to reflect?
Answer that simple question: What would make you genuinely proud if you’d achieve it with your software venture?
And don’t forget: Please share your story. Let’s inspire each other.