Realizing a dream – starting my own business

As with all things in life: time flies when you’re having fun. And boy does that play to me these days! It’s already 2.5 months ago since I’ve split with the employer where I’ve invested +26 years of my life: Unit4. I am looking back at a great time, as Unit4 has been an employer that has always given me the freedom, trust, and opportunities to make a difference. This has been fundamental to become who I am today.

But then the big question pops up: What will be my next big thing? What do I love doing, what are my core strengths, and how can I blend that in such a way that it adds value to other people’s lives and business?

Everyone that knows me well can attest that all my life I’ve been fascinated by the impact technology can make on all of us – inspiring new forms of value creation. Another thing that characterizes me is my drive to help people around me – be it my colleagues, customers, and partners – by inspiring them about ‘what can be’. Why? Well, I simply get a kick when that help translates into something that’s remarkable: A high-potential business idea, an inspiring story about value, a winning pitch, or for example a new concept for product innovation.

So, at the end, the choice for my next big thing was simple: It had to be about technology, the future and about the ability to help as many people and software businesses as possible. That’s why I started my own business with the simple, but obvious name: Value Inspiration.

My next big thing: Helping Business Software companies rethink what can be, to become remarkable (again).

Having been immersed in the business software industry for over 26 years I have seen many many examples of what ‘excellent’ looks like, but also (too) many examples of what ‘average’ or ‘poor’ looks like. It’s my strong believe too many business software companies suffer from what I have started to refer to as ‘the innovation gap’ [@Christian Weichelt: Thx for all the inspiring discussions regarding this theme].

This means they do not live up (anymore) to their true potential, delivering average solutions, to average customers, with average results. It’s here where I want to make a lasting impact – turning average into remarkable (again).

Let’s put it this way: Imagine a world where your customers would be your fans, a world where your employees would be inspired to go to work, and a world where your company would be known for the unique value you deliver. If you’re company ticks all those boxes, congratulations! If not, it’s time to take action, and here’s why:

Being ‘average’ results in all kind of energy draining side-effects. Just think of it: You’ll have to invest even more in marketing, you simply miss the benefit of ‘word of mouth’ from customers that are your fans. This lack of ‘buzz’ translates into challenges attracting new & retaining key employees simply because you’re not in the ‘cool vendor’ league. This can translate into unmanageable capacity challenges, which impacts your ability to accelerate (fast enough), and that results into underperformance in market valuation. This doesn’t have to be, becoming remarkable (again) is the way out.

So how will I help?

In the past months, I’ve developed an approach that’s all about the transformation from ‘average’ to ‘remarkable’ – finding that nugget that will unlock your true potential. The way I have designed this approach is to inspire new forms of value creation at various levels of your organization through a portfolio of five different services. Let me quickly run through them:

  • 1.   Inspire your business future
    A design thinking workshop to re-imagine the impact you can have in your market. The starting point: Start planning from your vision, rather than your present.
  • 2.   Inspire your story
    A consultancy service to inspire your true company/product story. As Simon Sinek says: “People buy why you do it, not what you do”
  • 3.   Inspire your storytellers
    An interactive workshop (and/or coaching service) with your storytellers (sales/marketing/management) bringing together theory and practice how to approach, structure and deliver the perfect pitch. Win the hearts of your customers, then value will follow.
  • 4.   Inspire Groups
    Interactive roundtables & workshops with your customers/prospects inspiring new forms of value creation for them by challenging their status quo. My viewpoint: The workplace of the future must be based on the needs of people, not the limits of technology.
  • 5.   Inspire Crowds
    Keynotes at your next event focused on rethinking the future of people at work. The starting point: Imagine a world that’s safe.., sustainable.., free of poverty, with growth opportunities for everyone…

What else is on my mind? You!

Helping business software companies rethink what can be, to become remarkable (again) is a core aspect of realizing my dream. Inspiring as many people as possible is the other part. Here’s where I will utilize blogs and podcasts to reach as many as possible of you. The focus: Sharing stories about remarkable value creation as a result of combining technology and business sense in a smart way.

And for this I am challenging you: Do you have such a story that’s worth spreading or do know a person/organization that has one, let’s connect and chat.

Value inspiration at its best is when it helps create a better world for all of us. That’s a cause worth aiming for.

About the author

Sales Pitch

Ton Dobbe is a former B2B software product marketer who's on a mission to save mission-driven SaaS CEOs from the stress of 'not enough' traction. He's the author of The Remarkable Effect, the host of the Tech-Entrepreneur on a Mission podcast, and writes a daily newsletter on the secrets to mastering predictable traction.