One of the ways that a lot of entrepreneurs, especially startups, validate their ideas is through the lean startup model by Eric Ries. Are you familiar with this model? Were you able to practice this for any of your businesses?
Unfortunately, Adam and his brother weren’t knowledgeable enough at the time to do so.
Right now though, he is a very big believer in the model. He believes that companies should follow that model. For Adam, one of the things that he’s learned through experiences is the importance of running one as lean as possible.
When they started their businesses, they did everything the wrong way. For starters, they started by pushing 10 ideas at once. That is not the way to do it.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you shouldn’t do that. People ask Adam all the time how he was able to build three businesses. His best advice on the matter is for people not to follow in his footsteps.
Rather they should take their best ideas and focus on it.
You advised people awhile ago to focus on just one idea and the rest will follow through. Your third business, Velo Solutions, is an offshoot or a product of the first two ideas. It validates and reinforces your advice. Is this what happened with Velo Solutions?
This is what happened to Velo Solutions. And even with that happening, Adam is still a believer in less is more when it comes to business ideas, especially for early-stage businesses. People should just focus on one idea.
You should pick your best idea. Don’t get distracted and pull yourself in a hundred different directions. Have confidence in yourself and your best idea, but don’t start off thinking that you can successfully scale all these different businesses at once because that is difficult.
What do you guys do with Velo Solution?
With Velo Solutions, Adam and his team work with businesses and nonprofits of different sizes. They build generally sophisticated technology solutions for their clients. They create complex systems that the run of the mill development team generally isn’t capable of doing.
Oftentimes they come in when the incumbent team has been displaced or if the current client realizes that they need to take the next one or two leaps up. They tend to create creative and strategic work. An example of their work would be the creation of a new revenue stream for clients that can be connected to their original businesses.
They try to marry their technical expertise with whatever it is their client is trying to create in their business.
With everything that is happening in your life, are you still the ones that go to clients to ask them what they need?
Adam is not the one that talks to clients. For him, it’s important to know your own strengths and weaknesses as well as the limitations of your time.
He is not the one who is talking with clients or who goes over the roles and responsibilities. It is delegated to the right people.
As a leader, Adam believes that it is important to understand who you are and what you’re good at and what you’re not good at. He thinks it’s important to bring people around you who are much, much better than you in all the areas in which you need talent.
For Velo Solutions, they need incredibly good software developers. That’s not Adam because he’s not a programmer. What he does have is his strong knowledge around recruitment that when paired with his brother’s strong technical expertise, lets them source the absolute best developers that they can find.
They’ve been able to bring in the best and brightest to their team.
As a leader, you must understand that not only can’t you do everything by yourself, you shouldn’t do everything by yourself. You are not going to be successful if you’re doing everything on your own.