Tag Archives: Continuous

How Do You Grow Without Losing Control? Five Factors

Interview with Kelly Masood, President, Intilop, Inc.

Situation: An emerging company is gaining traction as it moves from early adopters to mainstream. They need to continue to develop new technologies, while bringing down the cost of existing products. This is a delicate balancing act for a small company. How do you grow without losing control?

Advice from Kelly Masood:

  • It’s important to maintain momentum and continuous improvement. From a practical standpoint, we do this by applying common sense to our technical discipline. Common sense, here, is a relative term. It isn’t really taught in school at any level, but is gained through experience. This is the true expertise of the CEO.
  • The delicate part of the balancing act is the mix between developing new technologies and building an effective business model. An effective business model is built on innovative and cost effective products and sustainable profitability. Since new technologies go through development stages, it is important to create break points where you transition from development to productization to marketing and sales. Continuous improvement in existing products based upon customer feedback and new product ideas for future developments are crucial aspects of a successful business model.
  • If you want to minimize outside funding and investment you have to watch cash flow and development expenses. Revenue from existing products is the key. When you don’t have resources, you become resourceful. If the team is dedicated to producing innovative and good products that make business sense, they figure out how to accomplish it without cutting corners.
  • To mature your team over time you must keep them motivated, occupied and adequately compensated today while inspiring them to make it big in the future.
    • You maintain interest through the pursuit of new technology and the learning associated with it. Engineers like to see their designs work and turned into a product that creates value, is used and is appreciated.
    • Keeping the team occupied and challenged starts with choosing the right talent in the first place and then getting them to focus on building great products.
    • Compensating them with a fair salary means locally competitive rates, sweetened with stock options to provide great upside potential.
    • For us, retaining great employees is about enabling them to innovate products that will find broad market acceptance.

Key Words: Early Adopter, Mainstream, Develop, Cost, Continuous, Improvement, Common Sense, Business Model, Cash Flow, Expense, Price, Retain, Employees, Off-shoring

What Three Qualities Characterize the Company of the Future?

Interview with Philippe Courtot, CEO, Qualys

Situation: Few economists predict a robust recovery. We know from past recessions that in a slow recovery some companies will fail while others rise to the top. What are the three qualities of the companies that will thrive and become the companies of the future?

Advice from Philippe Courtot:

  • Companies of the future will have three qualities. The first is a keen sense of who your customers are – what characterizes them and their buying and use decisions. You need to see yourself through their eyes. This will give you the ability to shift more easily as their needs shift. Making this shift is easier for a service company than for a manufacturing company because the infrastructure of a service company is more flexible.
  • Second is an intense focus on operational excellence. Everything is measured with the objective of obtaining the highest levels of productivity as well as the opportunity for ongoing learning and improvement. The companies of the future will have superior systems for gathering and tracking performance data, as well as cultures which allow them to learn from what they track.
  • Third is a culture of continuous innovation. The company of the future will be the company disrupting itself. Germany provides a wonderful example because of its culture of excellence in small, family owned companies. You may be surprised to learn that it is these small companies who are the true drivers of German innovation, not the big companies like Daimler or BMW. The small companies follow the three rules outlined here. Their success has been aided by the emphasis in German education on math and engineering which means that there is an ongoing supply of domestic talent to feed these jobs.

You can contact Philippe Courtot at pcourtot@qualys.com

Key Words: Company, Future, Quality, Customer, Shift, Adapt, Service, Manufacturing, Operations, Excellence, Learning, Improvement, Data, Culture, Innovation, Continuous, Disrupt, Family, Business, Education