Steering Growth Stage Founders Towards Sustainable Businesses

Episode 52 Make or Break Establishing Product Market Fit is Crucial to Success (1)

Transcript 

Hessie Jones 

So today we are talking about how close stage founders can effectively steer towards building a sustainable business. And I’m so pleased to have David Peterson, who is known as the optimization coach with me today. And so David actually assists. The closed stage companies. IN2X saying their revenue growth to achieve their their 10X goal. So he helps companies become much more appealing to investors or if they choose, they choose their status as a successful founder owned business. So welcome to tech uncensored. Hi everyone. My name is Jesse Jones at this juncture. Early stage founders are generating revenue and they may at this stage also aim to actually raise a successful series round A, but they have to also focus on revenue quality. They are selling a vision of the future, and they’re emphasizing some of the key qualities that investors want to buy into. And so they have to construct this compelling narrative that justifies whether or not their idea is sound. So they not only need to understand the network effects as they grow, but the market receptivity and more importantly how the Founders and their teams actually respond. To each one of these things is going to be crucial. So when founders are growing their business, they’ll also run into challenges when it comes to scaling, they’ll start to incur costs to support the growth of their company, and so do you. Risking some of these challenges as they grow lays some, some solid groundwork for the future. Of the company. So. Here are some of the questions of startups must ask themselves, as they grow. Do they truly understand the effort required to make an idea profitable? So this is not necessarily just about revenue. This is this is about making sure that they have the cash flow to sustain the business. How motivated are they to get out of their own way and do what’s right for the business? What impact will their decisions have on the culture of the business as they grow? Or if they have to downsize at some point in the future and are the goals that they’ve articulated at the five and 10 year mark, are they? Achievable. So remember that early stage success isn’t just about revenue. It’s about building a strong foundation for sustainable growth. And David has experienced this in his own journey and nurturing a company to actually create some kind of enduring organization is his sweet spot and he offers some some. Great advice, so I welcome David to the show today. 

David Peterson 

Thanks, Hessie Jones. Thanks for having me. 

Hessie Jones

No problem so. Let let’s start with you and your background. You tell me about your startup journey, where it all began, and how you actually came to this point in being an advisor and coach. For startup companies.

David Peterson

All right, I think I did a lot of different things. Even when I ended my much younger years, I actually built a Pasta 3 program back in the early 90s and when I and this was back in Dubai and I went. To pitch it and people like. What do you mean, no passwords? That’s not secure passwords. Aren’t really secure and I’m like no, but at he time I  realized that it was all way ahead of my time was it was hilarious. I’m like you. You can’t hack this. There’s no password here. And there’s, like, no, you know, it was just. It was just bizarre. So. So that kind of went. You know, just I guess wrong time, wrong place. Right. So that’s one of the few things I learned that that early on. Then I went into it. I really liked, you know, computers and hardware was, you know, how do I say it was, was really evolving and there was new stuff happening. I got into building computers for people selling it to different individuals providing support. So I sort of expanded there as you know, as a young entrepreneur. Selling computers and and tech support. So that’s how it actually all started. Then later on I went because I was in the tech support space when I was in Canada, I went to independent tech shops. This was prior to, you know, the the the best buys and the future shops that existed that were sort of eating up most of those independent businesses that were providing tech support. So I would. Like build an app to help them get customers and go through that. But you know, not realizing where the the bigger markets we’re playing. So I think that’s something I learned during that journey is like, yes, that works, it’s helping them. But at the end of the day. Their bigger players that are impacting their ability to business and so therefore it’s not a sustainable growth model for myself. As a business. Then later on I actually developed, you know, back to the whole password thing, but an identity management system that could use for payments, a very secure way to prevent fraud in those various aspects. That is when I actually joined altitude back in the heyday. Early on, part of Mars as well, and went all the way up to tech stars for Seattle. And the the biggest challenge that I encountered there was basically where. I had to. Drop out. Was it needed? A six month commitment where I had to get out of, you know, just a kid at the time. Just starting a new family. And I had to pay not only for my own family, but the developers that were there to come with me. So that was. Not having the finances at that time was something where I learned like, OK, you, you really have to have a budget to keep the idea going and be able to grab certain opportunities that come your way if you need. That was one part and the other part that I learned from. That one was, I should have patented because that is what Apple Pay is today. So if I had built that, we’d be talking about a whole different story.

Hessie jones

Oh my goodness. Yeah, 2020 vision. Right after the fact. That’s amazing. So. You you’ve actually. So you’ve done this before, and so you understand the pitfalls of what you know, a lot of the startups today go through. So when you first talk. To a startup founder, what are the first things that you want to learn about them to determine whether or not you? Could help them.

David Peterson

Well, I I think going. Through all of that, and now, like for me being in business for in Canada for the last 18 years, I think that has given me lots of different views and aspects of including the North American culture. And then if you’re working internationally, how? That all works. To me, the first thing is where do they see themselves right? Like 5/10/15, even 20 years from now, aspects of you know, why are they in the business? Are they looking to sell it and make, you know, build it grow, because that’s exciting for a lot of people build a business, grow it, make. Money. Build another business and and and that’s the exciting aspect for for some founders. For other founders, it’s like OK, I want this to. I want to live a life I want. To travel the world, I want to see different things I. Want to be on a beach? I want to work for a couple of hours. And. Then get back into the business. But I don’t want to be chained to my business, so it’s more like is this an? An early retirement kind of vehicle business model that you’re trying to build, that’s one aspect of it. The other thing is, is it a legacy that some people want to build a legacy that they? Say OK, I want this to fund me all the way through. I want to give it to my children so that they have a source of revenue they can grow. They can take what they. Want with it and build it so that. Those are all the the key aspects that kind of decide to create a strategy of how to build a business. Because do you? Then need investors because if you’re selling it off, yes, you need to build it where investors are like, Oh yeah, this money in this I want to. In. Estimate and if you’re doing it for other reasons then do you need investor support or do you want to run it and you know own a business privately owned as a founder, right? And have that. As a success story.

Hessie Jones

It’d be interesting to see when, let’s say you decided to take on that founder. If you had asked him the same question, let’s say five years or even 2 years into your relationship. Whether or not his answer changes. Have you done that?

David Peterson

I I did, and actually it it it does what I’ve seen for most owners as they start building a more profitable build business they go from. I just wanted to make make money to. I want to get some investors and I may want to say is this. Oh, hold on. This is generating enough money that. Why do I need a? Why do I need an investor? So like there’s a shift saying I if this is sustainable and this is where it becomes very interesting where it’s sustainable, why do I need a founder to? OK let me see how how much I can grow it and then OK, I do want to sit on the beach like some of them. Like. Yeah, I I do want to sit on the beach. I don’t want to own it, but I want to be like the chairperson of the organization. I just want to be a shareholder and getting the returns this and coming and seeing what the business is doing and therefore as long as it’s going. The right way I can hand it off to my family if they want. It or you know? Like you know, if I want to sell it it it just it opens doors and opportunities are different ways of doing business or even the aspect of I may want to start another business using the funds from this business, right? So there’s a lot of opportunities in terms of ideas that you know. I I see it as a founder. You. You never really stop with one great idea, right. There’s always other ideas that. Just keep flowing.

Hessie Jones

Absolutely. OK. So you have a mantra and you say everything is a project. And so as as companies grow like what, what does this mean in terms of how a company actually manages all their stuff?

David Peterson

Yeah. I mean, to me, everything I say everything. Is a project because the reality is everything is a project is there’s. There’s two main things that I look at. The first one being. There’s a time bound activity for something to happen. It’s going to stay here. It needs to finish by here and there’s always a budget as much as people say, OK, I don’t. If the one you don’t know how much I wanna spend on it, you gotta figure how much you really want to spend on it and. What’s your reserves cause cause cost really. Dictate what you can can. And why project? Why is we want to take that project? Approach is primarily because we need a plan. We need to know, OK, what do we need to do to get to where we need to get to? What’s the cost for it? What’s the real timeline for this? Would that work with all the other aspects that’s happening within the business? And you know, all the all the other projects that have been kicked off, maybe it’s marketing maybe to sales. Maybe it’s hiring people, right? Maybe it’s a new development, maybe it’s. The upgrade of the platform. From one version to another version. It’s a feature upgrade. Everything has a cost. Everything takes time. And projects the the primary purpose of projects working with people. A lot of everything, almost everything that needs to be developed to create it requires a person to interact with it. And that’s the key part, whether it’s your customer or you know, even building traction, right.

Hessie Jones

So it’s not only in in product development you’re saying to use some of those the the key approaches and actually let’s saying set up your accounting system for. Sample right?

David Peterson

100% exactly because like it’s like, OK, what accounting system do I want? What’s the benefits of this? Like it is a project where if you go to somebody and say, hey, I want this, they’ll go through that process. Here’s the evaluations. Here’s the here the different products you go through a discovery phase, then you go through OK, let me plan out. OK, once I select the tool, what’s my implementation phase? Who do I need to? Integrate other integrations that I need. Is it with, with the banking system? With the accounting. With my existing maybe maybe you have a SAS based app for example, is it going to integrate with that? How do I streamline and I wanna say like optimize that process so that if you start it off early enough, what ends up happening is you don’t end up being resource. Every and that’s where most organizations kind of, because the most expensive. Cost is people and you want to get the right people to make sure that you know you’ve got the systems doing the heavy lifting and the the people are providing you with that knowledge. That insight, that ability to make it even better because you know that’s why we have machines.

Hessie Jones

Is it? It’s interesting that you’re talking about this kind of approach because everybody talks about how founders in in the beginning have to be nimble. And hey, if I’m if I decide that I’m going to use that specific application, I I’m just going to buy it today. But but what you’re saying is that if you don’t do your homework, then you may realize that down the road there could be a potential integration, you know, obstacle that you run into with that specific app, that, that, that may not necessarily be, I don’t know, adaptable or configurable to your existing organizations. So doing your homework saves a lot of time and money later on.

David Peterson

100% because whether It’s the founder that’s doing a lot of like if a founder is, let’s say, a founder, you’re being nimble, you’re just starting out, right. And if you’re saying, OK, I want to put this accounting out, you could spend, you know, upwards of 10/15/20 years. Doing your research. Putting it in, setting it up and and what have you, and then only to and then as you start. Investing more time by putting more data into it. And as you’re growing and not realizing where your company needs. To be or. What where your five-year plan is this might have been a very quick fix, but once it grows up to two years, then you try to work with another, you need to you’ve outgrown it. What happens then? Now you gotta spend money to move it from 1 system to another system and then you you you create other problems that you’re now you’re solving problems. That you you know, if you it’s, you know, retrospect like, oh, I should have chosen that one. It would have was it was $5 more or maybe I should have held off right. Like those kind of things people retrospect would go back and then they feel like because you didn’t take a project approached. It because you didn’t evaluate the full site.

Hessie jones

And I guess sometimes there are aspects that that you can’t anticipate. But as long as you, I’d say not invest to the point that it’s almost more expensive to make the change over later on. I think that’s that’s key.

David Peterson

100% things need to you have to look at products and services and the organizations and vendors and partners that can support your growth. Right, because you want to grow into them if they’re going to tap out at that point, then you’re looking at shifting. There’s a cost to shift, right? And it disrupts business. But also sometimes it might be a great a great problem to have, like, oh, we’ve overgrown past what we expected. Like if that’s what you’re having that you were supposed to be here five years, but you got there. In year one or year 2 1/2. That’s a fantastic problem to have, right? Because you were expecting to be there and you’re here sooner. That’s not really a problem. That’s you’ve you’ve got, you’ve achieved something really great cause five years from now you were supposed to make that. Right. So to me those aren’t problems. Those are actually great opportunities to. To grow further.

Hessie Jones

OK, so let’s talk about like one of the questions that I I put up in the abstract as I as I talked. About this was do founders truly understand the effort to make an idea profitable? Because as you know, when you when you start to grow it, you know revenues came right and revenue to show the investors that you have an idea that’s that’s actually worth investing in. But at some point in time, profit becomes more king than revenue. Can you explain when that happens and what the founder when a founder needs to to understand that specific signal?

David Peterson

Sounds you know, that’s a that’s in some ways a touchy topic because it brings about the Excel sheet like I’ve been found. I’ve been there. I, you know, you create, you come up with a brilliant idea. You’re already sold into it, right. You you believe it’s going to make you know. Hundreds of millions of dollars. And then you create, you go to excel and you stop putting all the numbers and you’re like, wow, I could get this and this. And then it’s like you’ve you’ve created this evidence now numbers to justify how this is like. 100% profitable. It’s going to make a lot of money. What ends up happening is that the reality is between making the first sale the 2nd, the 3rd, and you know, basically doubling your your user base from one to two, two to four, four to you know, 4 to 8, eight to 16 and so forth. That’s your traction model and traction is basically the key. What everybody looks for, right. And as as a founder. The traction and the rate of traction on the pace of how your. Growth is will tell you. How how much of A growth you can sustain? Because if it’s a very long. Period to you know. Double let’s say you know you’ve gone from 1 customer. It takes you another two months to get the second customer. There’s cost that you’re having to once both the customer and to just BU business as usual. Keep the lights on in your in your company. Those costs need to be factored in and that’s where you have to develop. Different strategies to say. Here’s my cost of running my business. Here’s the cost of, you know, acquisition for for a client. Here’s the cost to support the client which I have. How fast do I need to really grow to make that model successful? Because if you, if you can’t sustain the business, you’re going to be putting a lot of money to keep it alive, but eventually if. That gap is. Too wide. That’s when you know startups. You know, why do startups fail? Is they just don’t have enough money to take them across the journey to cross the the the chasms, so to speak, and get to the other. Right. And that’s why sometimes if you if you do a project plan and This is why I always go by the factor part, the project panel tell you do you have the money to get to you across this site, it’s like saying you know I want to drive from one end of the country to the other gas stations. Do you have the money for gas? Sometimes people like you know I’ve got the first tank of. Gas. I’m going to go and then it’s like, OK, now you’re stuck. You know, and you’re missing opportunities because time is opportunity, right? So. That’s kind of my approach to that.

Hessie Jones

Now if you take that scenario and and compare assess business to let’s say a hardware. Business it’s it’s very different. Obviously SAS is is much much easier to to plan for in some cases, right. But you could you could explain why you don’t agree with that but but for hardware it’s much harder because because it’s a physical product it it takes time to develop. And so trying to forecast demand and and trying to and and also taking consideration how long it takes to build that thing and your reliance on let’s say the manufacturer to be able to get it to you within a specific amount of time, that’s hard.

David Peterson

Yes. So to me is the risk, right? So I I view it as both need development and if you’re building a fast based product, you’re you’re you’re building it, the risk for the SAS is you’re and same for the hardware. You always have this upfront part, but you you’re sort of testing the market and it’s it’s more cost effective as a SaaS business versus a hardware. Business, but in the hardware business, what you’re running is the risk of what are my, you know, like I I’m I’m building. What else is somebody else building that we don’t know about? Right. So you’ve got that you’ve got manufacturing, you got market opportunity, you have a window that tends to kind of shrink really fast as things move at a different pace. What are the other technology disruptors that you couldn’t factor in or are aware of? So all of those things need to be. You know, if you take the project plan approach again, it’s like there’s a whole risk strategy. You you do risk mitigation, how do I mitigate with these risk? Because do I need to order equipment? Do I just choose to have a smaller inventory? Those things help the founder realize, OK, I’m going to take this approach. I’m going to take that approach that will solve that problem that will solve that problem, because at the end of the day, all these risks are problems that a business has to have and that the problem that it creates is the financial problem. Most startups are self funded. They do get some investors and those investors normally have family and friends. I don’t really call them investors. Those are people that believe in the person more than the product that they’re building. Investors look at what’s the product is, their ability to market it and is the founder. You know, confident enough that they can sell it because then they buying the person at the end of the day, right? They’re investing in the person, but they’re. Also investing in. A product that has the ability.

Hessie Jones

To make money. OK, so you coach companies, both the founder and their teams. So as they grow. You know, the founder himself has to balance for growth. But also he’s starting to wear a couple of hats because now his team has is going from, let’s say, two people to now like 5 and then 10. So what, what do what do Council, the founder at this stage, especially when it comes to starting? To develop a culture that he wants people to look in.

David Peterson

You know, and almost it is tough, right? It’s tough for founders because most most founders didn’t get the opportunity to run their own business, right. They haven’t run a business. They didn’t fail. They didn’t get the opportunity to fail. They’ve got a brilliant idea that they’re working with, that they don’t want to fail, right. So they’re under by default under a lot of pressure. Some of them never even have the opportunities to manage large teams or people, motivate them, hire people. Right. They just that wasn’t something that they’ve ever had the opportunity to do. Now they’re and now they’re put into a position where they’re the become the CEO of a company they probably never worse. They had a CEO had before in their life, and now they’re the CEO. And now they’re dealing with marketing sales. HR, the lawyers, contracts vendors, procurement, right, all sorts of different things that it is just you know it, you know, you talk about drinking from a fire hose like they’re just being bombarded by somebody holding the fire hose because now you know it’s the company. And the shift is before it was a person and an idea. Now it’s the company that owns the idea, right? So once the company owns the idea. The CEO’s job. Is to lead the company and it’s no longer. It’s no longer. Yeah, the CEO. It’s no longer my idea. It’s the companies. I I sold at the. Moment I incorporated it. Right. The company owns that idea. They own that IP. Now. I did a trade. I’m running that company to become more successful. To sell that idea. That IP that, that company owned and is, you know, has bought from me and make that successful. So that transition. That letting go of that, you know, let’s call it, you know, your baby or the idea that you had and letting the company run it and and running a company with the CEO mindset.

Hessie Jones

You you actually touched on like my next point about about what this this CEO mindset looks like because as you say they haven’t done this before. So what that what is the critical realization that? That they come to or when do they come to it? Where they realize that this is not a hobby anymore, that this is this is something that could actually sustain and make money, and at what point do I have to just get out of my own way? For the for the benefit of the company.

David Peterson

Absolutely. And that comes down to what was their first intention, right? If their intention was, I want to do this cause it just brings. Me. Personal pleasure. It’s a hobby. I love it if I’m making some money out of it, great it it goes into my little Kitty and I, you know, I have some more money to invest in my hobby and then you’re developing that into a company. It’s a very different mindset. It’s a different growth pattern. It’s a different shift from what a person has to. There’s a lot of passion in it involved in it. It isn’t about making money, it’s about providing service to somebody that can benefit from their own passion, which they’re enjoying by themselves. When someone comes in as a founder as well hear something that I want to build. I want to. Create, but the purpose of it is to. Make money. The the purpose of any business is to make money. If it’s not making money, then that’s a hobby, and that’s that’s the biggest difference differentiated that I want to make out is if it, if it’s not making money. It’s a hobby that you’re investing in. Yeah, it might. You know, it it it’s. It’s nice to do and nice to have, but the the intention is important and a lot of people may have the intention of making. Money, but not a lot of ideas, may not, right? It could be like you know me person as well. It could be just, you know, market opportunity timing might be off, it might be a brilliant idea that just you wait a year, you need to build it and wait, wait for it or it just might be that there’s just not enough consumers there to help you grow and sustain the business cause it needs you know you need a lot of money to grow. The business to get to 1 point and then if you look at the Bell curve or however you want to look at it, but there is a sustainment aspect of it and is there enough customers that can keep engaging it or stay on long enough for you to sustain that business for you to look at? Having your next idea or you know selling it or moving it and doing whatever you want to. Do with it.

Hessie Jones

So at what point does does a founder or do you see in in instances where the founder just throws up his hands and he said that’s it? I can’t. I can’t do it anymore because obviously the journey is hard and they may not necessarily. That that they’re funding and they’re bootstrapping to the point where they say, OK, I can’t throw any more money at this like how when does that typically happen and how do you how do you counsel them on it?

David Peterson

Well, that normally happens towards the end and we’re just we’re just normally the sad part because they’ve they’ve sort of burned a lot and and they’re coming for help at the point where it’s very difficult to provide help unless this financial funds to support the, you know the fix right, because it it caught everything costs money. And that’s why if you look at the project. That aspect of. It there’s time, so it’s going to take. Time to fix. It but it also. It’s going to require money to to fix it. What I you know, I always tell people and that’s what they learn. You know, sometimes through the hard way, you know, even myself. You learn by getting people on early enough, getting the right counsel, understanding the difference between first between a coach and an advisor because the advisor is going to tell you based on their experiences or known knowledge of other people that have gone through it. The coach kind of works with the individual’s strengths, right? So it’s like, what do you have as your strength? How do I work with what you’ve got so that you can then take it and and and grow your company, right. That’s that’s the slight. That means always getting people on early enough, because the earlier you get it, you prevent yourself from getting in that situation. Sometimes you can work with people to say, OK, fine. Yeah, OK. You don’t know. What to do? Let’s create a plan. Let’s see what other options are out there. Maybe some other types of investors. Maybe it’s repackaging it. Maybe it’s bringing it down slower to something that’s, you know, more manageable. More cost effective in terms of what you can, what you can sustain to keep it alive, to to end up with the dream or the idea that you initially had, you know you had and. The journey might be different. But. If at the end goal is still achievable, then I think that’s that’s part of the process. That’s right.

Hessie Jones

They’re almost giving founders the tools in a way to. To stop them from making the wrong decisions. And I think I think from what I hear you say is that if if I’m going to do this right, then I can’t have this knee jerk effect or in in making some of these decisions. Because for example, like hiring right you can hire. They’re your best friend. You can. Your mom says. You know what? Can you give your brother a job? Get get them started in your company. A lot of those, a lot of those decisions earlier on don’t have a huge impact, but may may have a bigger impact later on in the company. So you’re you’re trying to get them started. Early to to be more, I would say mature about how they make decisions. Is that fair?

David Peterson

Yeah, it’s it’s understanding. The consequences of decisions, like every decision you make, has a consequence. What are those consequences? Are those consequences that are good consequences all those consequences that, oh crap, I don’t really want to have. Those because sometimes you don’t think about it right, like. Everybody. Everybody starts off with good intentions. No one really stops off like in hiring family. Whatever it is like, it’s a good intention of the the there’s a person that wants to get in or if I’m giving them some, you know, a percentage of the equity. All that stuff works out because it’s like, OK, I’m, I’m bringing something, but then you go to an investor and the investors like, OK. Want to buy X? These people own that much amount of equity. What are they doing? What are they contributing with? That person can’t get me to where it’s like. Well, I I’m only getting this portion in and you want X millions of dollars or hundreds of thousands of dollars, but no one’s put in the same dollar value or, you know, even sweat. Equity wise, they don’t have that. It creates problems in in. In the final, you know financial model because at the end of the day, if you look at any business and I and I, you know, I say if anyone’s invested in the stock or an equity fund or whatever it is, you’re only going to invest in a company that’s making money. No one’s going to invest in a company that’s not making money. No one would say, hey, that company is struggling, might reach bankruptcy. Let me buy a lot of their. Stock, right, you’re. Not going to do. That right, so. It’s the same thing like you’re as a company. Are you building a company that people are going to say, hey, you’re making money, I’m going to invest in you. And this is how I’m, you know, and this is where you’ve. Structured it well enough that you can. Allow investment to come in if you need it. Maybe it’s private funding. Maybe you know. Like there’s so many. Options. There’s options for everything. It all comes down to what do you want your company to be. You know, 5-10 years. Is it something for your retirement? Something is a legacy. Something that you want to sell. Those things always anchored. The decisions that you’re making cause the goal for. You know the the founders. I wanted that because I I want to sell on the beach. I wanted that because I want to get money and retire early. I want that because I want to sell it off. You know, after about 1010 years, if I reach or if I reach this dollar value, that’s when I want. To exit, those are goals that you build. Within the company as part of. The strategy for the founder. Because that’s really how you play the game. Because you’re playing a different game, right? And that’s the most important thing is, which game are you playing? Right. Because sometimes people say, OK, I’m going to stop the journey. Me and I’ll figure out what I’m going to do, but it’s like you. You’ve changed the game that you’ve played every time you’ve changed the strategy, your customer base, the approaches, everything changes, right? Everything is anchored to which game you’re playing.

Hessie Jones

OK, so I don’t know if you have an example of a company that you’ve done business with for a while and you’ve you’ve counseled them and they they’re they’re they actually take your advice. And they’re ready to fly on their own. Like, how would you? How would you define or determine what characteristics they actually have that acknowledge whether or not in themselves or within their business that they don’t need you anymore?

David Peterson

When I so to me, when they need to talk less and less right when they have less problems too, that they need to resolve. When they’ve got the support system within the organization and the people that can solve the problems that they need, right? So it’s no longer ohh we need to solve for these problems. I’ve got the team, I’ve got the people that can do it, OK. I’ve got an HR. Issue I’ve I’ve got the right person in HR. They can handle that. I’m not. I don’t need to do that. I I need to increase revenue. I’ve got the right sales. Person heading sales on the sales team. They’ll increase the revenue and if they need support from marketing, I got. Marketing, business development lawyers. OK, I already have lawyers. I know it and and the people within the company know who to talk to to get that done. I know I don’t need to be involved in it. I can, you know, as the CEO, I can lead without being involved in the day-to-day businesses of the organization. And there’s people that. Look at the day. To day and I’m there to keep them to their North star and say, OK, this is still where we’re going. How are we going towards that? And you’re tracking their ability and keeping everybody In Sync towards achieving that, that not sound goal. So that’s when they really then it’s a different kind of aspect of. It’s people management kind of coaching versus, you know, business, business coaching.

Hessie Jones

Are there companies that you have that that you’re particularly proud of in in helping them achieve what they’ve set out to achieve?

David Peterson

I am. There are a few that have been, you know that I’m very happy with what they’ve managed to achieve in such a short period of time, and they’ve helped me even refine my model. Right does it. It is I. I do have a specific business model that I use for. Companies and working with the different players that helps me up, you know I say optimization but it helps me keep refining continuous improvement and optimize that model even further for other startups. I want to come up on. To the same thing and so. Every it’s a win win for everybody. Everyone’s benefiting through that whole process and it’s. It’s it’s great.

Hessie Jones

You were to have just like like one. One piece of advice for founders in the growth stage and how they could help. I don’t know. Achieve this mindset that you that you speak of. What should they? be open to or what should they be? What should they look for?

David Peterson

Do you have a plan? And what does that plan look like? Is it written down because that’s the first thing? If you don’t have that, you don’t have that written down. You’re kind of I want to say you’re winning it and then you have no way to measure your success and you have no way to figure out when you need to pivot or what do you need to go to do to get back on track. Right? So it just comes down. Do you have a plan? And if you have a plan, you’ll have a budget and you’ll know you know how that’s all going to work out. I think if they have that there. They’re 80% successful and then it’s 20% of the effort because that’s really all it is. A lot of. The work is really a mind exercise that needs to be done, and once you do that, 80% of the mind exercise, then the 20% is the effort that they just need to be successful where it says putting 80% of the effort and then. Saying, oh crap, I need to.

Hessie Jones

It’s it’s amazing. Everything that you talked about, it’s like, oh, my God, I I remember doing all that and also feeling the pain of having to go to, to make some of those tough decisions. Right. So I thank you. Thank you for spending the time with me today, David.

David Peterson

OH thanks for having me. It was a lovely conversation.

Hessie Jones

It was. And so that’s all we have time for today. And if our audience, if any of you have topics that you want us to cover, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at communications and altitude accelerator.ca.

Tech Uncensored is powered by altitude accelerator and is produced by Bluemex and Transistor radio. My name is Hesse Jones and until next time have fun and stay safe.

Host Information

Hessie Jones is an Author, Strategist, Investor and Data Privacy Practitioner, advocating for human-centred AI, education and the ethical distribution of AI in this era of transformation.

She currently serves as the Innovations Manager at Altitude Accelerator. She provides the necessary support for Altitude Accelerator’s programs including Incubator and Investor Readiness. She will be the liaison among key stakeholders to provide operational support and ultimately drive founder success.

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