I am thinking about this today because we just signed a huge strategic partnership deal that I am not allowed to announce as yet.
It should make it much easier for us to raise outside capital, provide a new revenue stream and will certainly make Realvibez one of the most powerful Jamaican-owned media companies focused on Caribbean entertainment and culture, finally living up to the claim by Boston College’s school paper that Realvibez is “the closest thing to a Caribbean MTV on the web.”
But it won’t matter if we don’t execute properly.
Since relaunching, I have done my best to steer us away from taking on too many projects because one mistake we made the first go ’round was saying yes to everything that fit our dreamy “follow Virgin” business plan.
We should have focused on our core competencies, built up a defensible position that was generating great cash flow, build up a war chest and then mobilize into another arena to “conquer”.
Microsoft didn’t try to conquer multiple markets at once so what makes me think I am smarter or luckier than Bill Gates?
Sometimes I wonder if my MBA education has caused me to not think like an entrepreneur – “I can beat all the odds by just persevering.”
But then I quickly realize that most entrepreneurs fail exactly because of that attitude – not preparing properly for the journey that perseverance will take them on.
We have another deal in the wings and that will be big, but this new one is on a completely different scale of massive – think Earth vs. the Milky Way galaxy – they fit well together, but there is an obvious difference.
But again, if my team and I cannot execute or get buy-in from other partners, it is going to be the most public failure I would have to endure yet – and I have no intention of embarassing myself in front of millions of people.
I don’t want nightmares from being on one of those “dot com failures” or making it into someone’s book like those in F*d Companies.
First things first – Spend some time with my dog-eared, overly highlighted copy of Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start.
Second – Re-read the entrepreneurship book I was asked to endorse this month, The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur.
Third – Re-read The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution from my HBR June 2008 issue.
Fourth – re-read Good To Great and Built To Last. I just finished reading Richard Branson’s Losing My Virginity so at least his drive is fresh in my mind. These books should make a great combination in succession.
(Yes, I actually like to read, unlike most people under 30)
Lastly – put myself out there for motivation…and criticism. I can use this public diary to track my execution of projects, or lack thereof.
I am sure that public flogging will be a great motivator to avoid failure.