If you want to delegate tasks, delegate strategy too (issue no. 29)
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|Stephen Alred Jr.||Mar 8, 2019|
This section is meant to help you grow as a leader, manager, or entrepreneur.
If you didn’t know, I am a huge fan of The E-Myth. When I talk to founders about how they want to grow their companies, I always refer to concepts like the ones found in that book.
Ironically, studying management before, during, and after my first time being a manager is what taught me what kind of people I have to hire as a founder. I don’t do well-managing people who need well-defined structures. This gets a little deeper into the delegation vs. abdication debate (I tend to give people too much leeway after signing projects and deadlines).
During this piece, Claire Lew poses a simple framework for how to delegate better as a manager. Start with outcomes. If you hired the right people for your organization, they will take that freedom and produce their best effort work. At that point, you can begin correcting and adjusting, but you first have to give your team room to fail.
One way to do this is to invite your team into the thinking process. This gives them ownership over their own work and their own path of completing the projects you assign.
For example: if you have a revenue and retention goal for your sales & marketing team, don’t create projects for them to implement. Zoom out one step further and let them decide on their own plans. The outcomes are the revenue and retention goals. Even coming up with projects and assignments can cause a bottleneck of responsibility.
This section is designed to help you improve your skills as a strategist and tactician.
They are called the VC twins (A+ for branding), and when it comes to CPG and retail startups, they know what they are talking about. In this article, they reflect on top things they learned from the Shoptalk 2019 conference.
This is actually why I love what the internet gives you on a daily basis. Except for networking, most conference sessions are either widely tweeted or written about, and many (like Hubspot) post their popular content on Youtube. It’s nice because it gives people the opportunity to learn the same takeaways without spending the thousands of dollars that come with attending a top-tier global conference.
The biggest takeaway was tied into a conversation I had with another entrepreneur building cool spaces in Chicago for entrepreneurs. He noted that many retail brands/stores do not have systems that talk to each other across the country or even online to physical locations. You can buy a shoe online and then go to a physical store where they will not have a unified view of your consumer history.
In the future, I believe that if you are going to build physical locations for restaurants, retail, medical offices, coworking spaces…you have to develop your internal data infrastructure with unification in mind.
For example: If the Luxottica group owns Ray-Ban, Oakleys, Lenscrafters, Sunglasses Hut, and Glasses.com (among many others), they should have a unified vision of the customer. But they don’t, and that’s why they were pretty much asking for disruption at the hands of Warby Parker. You should be able to walk into any Sunglasses Hut and give your name, and they should know what prescription you have. Under the same name, you should be able to order contact lenses on subscription bases. And they should know when you need to come in for another eye check.
This how the future will be. But first, old brands have to reconfigure their entire infrastructure, CRMs, processes, customer service programs, pricing models. You have a leg up if you start working on this now.
When you create a better foundation for products, service, and sales...you are able to improve the bottom line with sheer efficiency and personalization.
This section was created to introduce ideas that may not related to starting a company, yet is important to your success as a founder.
If you are trying to build a high-growth startup, look no further than Elad Gil’s book “The High Growth Handbook”. I bought it last year and it is indeed a handbook of how to operate and plan for growth in an organization that is evolving quickly.
In this blog post, Elad puts together a host of links for your enjoyment, what “forced” me to include it in this week’s newsletter was the takeaways. Here are a few things you need to know…
The founder/investor journey is long (sometimes 10+ years), make sure you gel together before taking a dime of funding.
Watch out for taking sub-optimal deals just because you want a top-tier fund’s name to leverage with other investors. They know they’re top tier and you may be giving up too much for name brand recognition (this ironically relates to fashion).
Ask investors to commit time with their investment.
Around The Startup Ecosystem
This section was built to update you on important events, opinions, or pieces happening in the world of startups.
I first hear about HotelTonight when I was looking for other companies that have successfully executed the “man in the machine” models. They did it. Another major one is Zappos.
With this model, you validate a model for service by faking the automation of it. In Zappos’ case, they would take orders of shoes they didn’t have, run to the store and purchase the shoe, and then ship the shoe to the customer under the Zappos brand. It’s a fantastic way to get inventory without actually paying for it.
I tried it while I was thinking of a subscription-based coworking startup that allowed you to pay a monthly fee for access to hundreds of offices around the United States.
What makes this acquisition so interesting is that AirBnB bought a startup that deals entirely with hotels. In my eyes, that’s what makes this so important. To own a market is one thing, to own a category is a whole other piece, but to own an entire experience…that’s extremely hard to do. And to create a huge company, owning the experience is table stakes.
Facebook owns social interactions on the internet through WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, Messenger. Google owns the experience of searching on the web. Spotify is gearing up to possess the experience of listening to content (which is why I think they’ll buy or build an audiobook product within the next 12-18 months).
Get what I mean? Owning an experience is difficult.
What I believe AirBnB is doing…is wanting to own the entire travel experience. They have the activities (through Experiences), food (through Restaurant), staying in local areas (Core app), next had to be hotels. In the future, they will need to take over transportation. If they can integrate some kind of airline deal and on-the-ground transportation, they would accomplish their goal.
In this scenario, they would be able to charge you one flat fee for an all-inclusive journey that is nothing like the current all-inclusive offerings today. Think about what kind of experience travel will become if they succeed.