Principles and Business Model
Guiding Principles – For Software
1. Be a Platform
SaaS – Monthly Recurring Revenue, System of Engagement, Leverage other vendors
4. Fall in love with customer problems, not your solutions
When a customer says they don’t like something or they have a problem they are right 100% of the time. When they suggest a solution they are wrong 99% of the time.
7. Use it Internally
To the point of fanaticism
Easy to Use, accessible and affordable and useful immediately
5. Think 10x not 10%
Don’t always take the obvious path. It is It is often comparable effort to achieve 10X the results
8. Great Workflow = Actions + Insights
Provide insight to help users do things – don’t make the user think too hard
10. Speed is a necessary feature
If your application is slow people won’t use it
3. Have a business or technical advantage
Be best in the world
6. As simple as possible but not simpler
Build for 5% power user and take the time to build it right
9. Refactor incrementally and continuously while delivering value
No big bang mass scale rewrites
Leaders are owners. They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job”. They are accountable. They take responsibility for everyone’s performance including their own.
Make others better
Leaders work tirelessly to hire and develop the best and brightest. Acquiring new talent is always a top priority. They understand that surrounding themselves with more intelligent and more talented people is the smartest thing they can do. Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly develop and move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. They inspire, teach and motivate.
Invent and Simplify
Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere, and are not limited by “not invented here”. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.
Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size or fixed expense.
Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit
Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.
Are Right, A Lot
Leaders are right a lot. They have strong business judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs. In the end, they are confident and that confidence is infectious.
Learn and Be Curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. Self improvement is a part of their DNA. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. They are flexible to new ideas and open-minded enough to consider them.
Leaders focus on the key inputs for their business and deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.
Bias for Action
Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.
Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Leaders pay attention to competitors but they obsess over customers.
Insist on the Highest Standards
Leaders have relentlessly high standards – many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed.
Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing. Leaders do not believe they or their team are above others. They benchmark themselves and their teams against the best. Leaders have the ability to lead through influence and without authority.
Learn From Mistakes
Leaders make mistakes, and rather than dismiss them, they learn from them, and make their next challenge better because of it.
Leaders are a source of positive energy. That energy catches on to those around them. Intrinsically helpful, they seek solutions and don’t dwell on problems. They know what to say to inspire and reassure.
Vendasta Business Model
1. White label
Consider everything – no leaks
4. DIY and DIFM interfaces
Where at all possible
7. All Markets or One Market
2. System of Engagement
Our software is the thing users use
5. Friction Free self serve
No hidden configuration
8. Control Communications
All Communications with our users are via the system
10. Continuously deliver value
No total rewrites or big bang releases
3. Data Lives in our system
Not in 3rd party tools
6. Value Based Pricing
Users have access to all features. Limits are based on value to user