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Cycles
The simplest, proven way to
build your business.
Speaker | Bryan Cassady
September 15, 2017
About Me
• 10 Start-ups in 6 countries (8 winners, 1
loser, 1 unknown)
• As a consultant, dozens of scale-ups
• Lecturer :...
What I see…
(at companies of all sizes)
1. An incredible focus on the
positive
2. A continual search for silver
bullets
3....
A quick test… Who are these companies
today?
Personal
podcasting and
sharing audio
content
The answers….
Did you know that
about 70% of
companies fail at the
scale up phase?
How to not be one
of those
companies?
How to make it happen?
By using processes/systems
Why do you need system/processes ?
If you have a great product and momen...
What is the process/system?
At Fast Bridge, we have developed what we call,
‘the ABC’s of growth’
A = Alignment on needs /...
Systems are the
solution…
Every system is perfectly
designed to get the results
it gets.
W. Edwards Deming
Based on 2 years of research with
over 300 companies-
There are companies that succeed
and companies that fail. The bigges...
Introducing
Cycles: The ABC’s Of Growth.
Cycle 1
Cycle 2
Cycle 3
Cycle 4
Cycle 5
Align/Ask
Build
Communicate
Check
Systema...
The Mental state you need
• Humility... know you will get it wrong
• Vulnerability to ask for help/ to say
you don’t know
...
Systems are the
solution…
Every system is perfectly
designed to get the results
it gets.
W. Edwards Deming
A simple idea…
Many forms
The Demming Cycle
• Design Thinking
• Scrum
• The Innovators Method
• Innovation Engineering
Design Thinking
U N D E R S T A N D E X P L O R E M A T E R I A L I Z E
Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test Implement
Scrum DevelopTest
Accept
Plan
DefineReview
Backlog
Sprint Increment
Innovators Method
Insight Problem Solution Business Model
Source: N. Furr, Dyer.
Innovation Engineering
1. Aquire
innovation
creativity
Create CORE or LEAP
Strategies & Innovations.
2. Develop
innovation...
The challenge is how to
make it simpler.
The Common Features
Culture, Capabilities, Cycles
A simpler, easier to remember
formula with clear instructions
“how to”.
My Goal
My New Book
A joint project with accelerators / Experts
around the world
The ABCs of growth
A = Alignment
How to build org...
SNARC
Case study
Video
SNARC
A Semantic Social News Aggregator
SNARC, When you want to know more SNARC helps
discovering content by highlighting ...
We are best in class
We have 15,000 downloads this
week
Our server response time is down to
.8 seconds
We were listed in T...
2 types of entrepreneurs
1. Risk takers (they like the macho bit)
2. Risk reducers (they like getting house odds)
• A risk...
How… by asking again and again
“If this business fails, why would it fail ?”
“If this business fails, why would it fail ?”...
Working in your business Working on your business
We build something great,
profits will follow.
80% product development
1...
SNARCAlignment
Stop saying everything is fine!
It is time to stand naked in front of
your team and partners and tell
them the truth…
“I n...
5 Whys
Why is no one paying for our service ?
We never asked anyone to pay
Why have we never asked anyone ?
We haven’t fou...
Personally, I find nothing sadder
than a CEO with a big team
working alone on all the big
problems…
TRUE Truly Simple Let's get paid
N
Narrative.
Why it is
important
(the story)
If we can't find a way to get people to pay ...
Building Ideas
Meaningfully
Unique Ideas!
Leverage
Diversity
Drive out Fear
=
Explore Stimulus
MU =
S
F
D
Note: Higher stimulus = Better ...
1. Define your needs to build direction and remove fear (already
done)
2. Make sure you have a diverse team (Probably OK)
...
Traditional Model
Individual Brainstorming
Draining
Before After
Suck Method
Uses your brain
like a librarySource: Jump St...
Idea #1
Brain
Operating
System
Idea #2
Idea #3
Idea #4
Stimuli
Stimuli
Stimuli
Stimuli
Stimulus sets off a CHAIN Reaction!...
Communicate/
Check
For clarity of objective
• If you can’t explain your ideas to an 8 year old, it’s too
complicated
• Don’t assume people wi...
• Write the ideas down before discussing
• Make sure that whatever you discuss gives a complete
meaning
• Clarify the obje...
A good formula = 7P’s
The bigger the organization, the
higher are chances of lack of clarity
• When you are by yourself , it is easy to understa...
How to make brilliant ideas
Talk with
Friends
Really Ugly
Meetup
Event
Still Ugly
Speak at
Conference
Less Ugly
Investor
P...
Systems
Ask 10 successful companies about the
systems that drove their success …
You’ll get 10 different answers.
This is because ...
Benefits of the ABCs method
Summary
The reality is the ABCs is just an easy
way to remember a process …
The choice of a process/system is less
important than ...
Now my secrets…
I have been working on this a long
time…
TRUE Truly Simple A 70% success rate scale up program
N
Narrative. Why it is
impo...
My New Book
A joint project with accelerators / Experts
around the world
A combination of theory and hands on
exercises
In...
There have been many cycles
on the way.
Cycle # 1
Innovation
Engineering
The world’s best content and
learning systems
Key Strengths
A Fact based approach
Teaching skills by doing "I hear and I f...
Key Learnings
• World class content
• Great “learn by doing”
exercises
• But too much of a good
thing - 4 semesters of
con...
A new shorter version…
A team to create
A weekend version
Cycle # 2
Scale-Up Weekend
Key Learnings
• A fast proven format
• Working with peers - tested and successful
• But concerns about confidentiality and...
A best practices program
A Joint study
Best practices
Cycle# 3
100 Days To
Grow
Do Mentors / Accelerators help ?
• There is no empirical evidence that mentors or
accelerators help growing business (exce...
Another “View”
Opportunities
• The typical program uses
Entrepreneurs, the skills that make
a good entrepreneur are the not the
same as a...
And we haven’t even mentioned Mentor
whiplash!!
The issue is not mentors, but the
systems in which they mentor
Systems can be fixed
100 Days
With
6 Companies
Key Learnings
• Regular cycles great
• Working together good
• But… Everyone moves at
different speeds
• Deadlines don’t w...
Cycle # 4
Cycles Book +
Accelerator Training
What is the idea now …
A co-created book plus a training program
Biggest Risk =
Collaboration
Results
17 chapters
8 co-authors agreed
4 events planned
The proposal to co -authors
We want your brain not your pain
Step...
What would you do next ?
What is the biggest risk now?
How could this be tested/
mitigated ?
Cycles: The simplest, proven way to build your business
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Cycles: The simplest, proven way to build your business

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Scaling up is hard and deadly if done wrong. We would like to help you get it right.

A study by Startup Genome analyzed the results of 3,200 start-ups, they found that of the majority of start-ups failed. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. What is more important is they found, 70% failed because of premature or faulty scaling.
In this workshop, you learn about the ABCs method. The ABCs method is a system-based approach to growing your business. It has been proven to build ideas up to 6x faster while reducing risks 30-80%.

Veröffentlicht in: Business
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Cycles: The simplest, proven way to build your business

  1. 1. Cycles The simplest, proven way to build your business. Speaker | Bryan Cassady September 15, 2017
  2. 2. About Me • 10 Start-ups in 6 countries (8 winners, 1 loser, 1 unknown) • As a consultant, dozens of scale-ups • Lecturer : KU Leuven , Solvay • Director Founder Institute/ Inacademy • My work is to help people in small and larger companies build the companies of their dreams 3 Beliefs 1. Good entrepreneurs learn to accept risk, great entrepreneurs learn to manage risk 2. The best way to manage risk is to be systematic 3. Almost any learning system is better than no system
  3. 3. What I see… (at companies of all sizes) 1. An incredible focus on the positive 2. A continual search for silver bullets 3. Scared to ask for help 4. If they ask, too much done internally 5. What they want to do lacks clarity / focus 6. Lack of systems / Lack of urgency 7. Avoid tough decisions Deluded Scared of Negative Alone Unclear Lacking Systems Not Making Decisions
  4. 4. A quick test… Who are these companies today? Personal podcasting and sharing audio content
  5. 5. The answers….
  6. 6. Did you know that about 70% of companies fail at the scale up phase? How to not be one of those companies?
  7. 7. How to make it happen? By using processes/systems Why do you need system/processes ? If you have a great product and momentum you can (but probably won’t) succeed without systems and processes. The reality is most successful companies have hit the wall many times and pivoted their way to success. Processes / systems increase your odds of getting the pivots right and on time
  8. 8. What is the process/system? At Fast Bridge, we have developed what we call, ‘the ABC’s of growth’ A = Alignment on needs / Ask for help B = Build ideas C = Communicate and Check S = Systems for growth
  9. 9. Systems are the solution… Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. W. Edwards Deming
  10. 10. Based on 2 years of research with over 300 companies- There are companies that succeed and companies that fail. The biggest difference between winners and losers is smart winners make good, even mediocre, ideas great over time. The Reality… Quality Of Ideas Time Start Learning Cycles No Changes Bad Cycles Smart Winners Lucky Winners Losers Losers
  11. 11. Introducing Cycles: The ABC’s Of Growth. Cycle 1 Cycle 2 Cycle 3 Cycle 4 Cycle 5 Align/Ask Build Communicate Check Systematically Improve Idea Quality Time
  12. 12. The Mental state you need • Humility... know you will get it wrong • Vulnerability to ask for help/ to say you don’t know • Get lots of feedback • Learn and move on
  13. 13. Systems are the solution… Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. W. Edwards Deming
  14. 14. A simple idea… Many forms The Demming Cycle • Design Thinking • Scrum • The Innovators Method • Innovation Engineering
  15. 15. Design Thinking U N D E R S T A N D E X P L O R E M A T E R I A L I Z E Empathize Define Ideate Prototype Test Implement
  16. 16. Scrum DevelopTest Accept Plan DefineReview Backlog Sprint Increment
  17. 17. Innovators Method Insight Problem Solution Business Model Source: N. Furr, Dyer.
  18. 18. Innovation Engineering 1. Aquire innovation creativity Create CORE or LEAP Strategies & Innovations. 2. Develop innovation capability Build your internal capability to innovate with Education and Tools. 3. Grow innovation culture Grow a culture of innovation With Education, Tools & Mentoring
  19. 19. The challenge is how to make it simpler. The Common Features Culture, Capabilities, Cycles
  20. 20. A simpler, easier to remember formula with clear instructions “how to”. My Goal
  21. 21. My New Book A joint project with accelerators / Experts around the world The ABCs of growth A = Alignment How to build organizational alignment B = Build How to build better ideas quicker C = Communicate / Check How to clearly communicate and check your ideas S = Systems How to set up the right systems to lead and get better over time
  22. 22. SNARC Case study Video
  23. 23. SNARC A Semantic Social News Aggregator SNARC, When you want to know more SNARC helps discovering content by highlighting what is meaningful in a quick, smart and personalized manner. SNARC finds relevant content by learning from the content, the social web and you! 3 people with PHDs in Semantic Search / 2 start up experts and 500K to build their business
  24. 24. We are best in class We have 15,000 downloads this week Our server response time is down to .8 seconds We were listed in TechCrunch last week Success is on the way An “Oh so typical” scale-up We build something great, profits will follow. 80% product development 10% getting new users 5% finding a business model 5% other ________________________ 100%
  25. 25. 2 types of entrepreneurs 1. Risk takers (they like the macho bit) 2. Risk reducers (they like getting house odds) • A risk reducing entrepreneur will build a strategy that increases odds of success from • 10% • to 20% • to 50%
  26. 26. How… by asking again and again “If this business fails, why would it fail ?” “If this business fails, why would it fail ?” “If this business fails, why would it fail ?” Then finding answers
  27. 27. Working in your business Working on your business We build something great, profits will follow. 80% product development 10% getting new users 5% finding a business model 5% other ________________________ 100% How will be make a business. 5% product development 10% getting new users 80% finding a business model 5% other ________________________ 100%
  28. 28. SNARCAlignment
  29. 29. Stop saying everything is fine! It is time to stand naked in front of your team and partners and tell them the truth… “I need your help to solve the following issues..”
  30. 30. 5 Whys Why is no one paying for our service ? We never asked anyone to pay Why have we never asked anyone ? We haven’t found a pain someone is willing to pay to resolve Why no pain to resolve ? We haven’t focused on a specific segment yet Why no segment yet We have spent too much time at our desk Why too much time at our desk We are scared to meet clients because we don’t have ideas to sell We need ideas for things we can sell
  31. 31. Personally, I find nothing sadder than a CEO with a big team working alone on all the big problems…
  32. 32. TRUE Truly Simple Let's get paid N Narrative. Why it is important (the story) If we can't find a way to get people to pay for our service, we have no business regardless of how great our technology is, how many people download our product or how useful it is. O Objective 3 ideas to make money that we can test R Restrictions: We are not interested in A fee for use of the plug-in People will not pay T Tactical Constraints: We have around 250 K to grow the business, so the solutions need to be low cost. AND we need to work with partners H Here is the place to start Look at areas where the of Information value is high and searching takes time (eg Job applicants, News stories, etc° Make it a story Be honest Be specific Ask for help TRUE N.O.R.T.H = A way to ask for help..
  33. 33. Building Ideas
  34. 34. Meaningfully Unique Ideas! Leverage Diversity Drive out Fear = Explore Stimulus MU = S F D Note: Higher stimulus = Better results Source: Innovation Engineering
  35. 35. 1. Define your needs to build direction and remove fear (already done) 2. Make sure you have a diverse team (Probably OK) ------------------------------------------------------------ 3. Get stimulus (Stimulus mining) 4. Mix and match (Association) Best practices to build ideas
  36. 36. Traditional Model Individual Brainstorming Draining Before After Suck Method Uses your brain like a librarySource: Jump Start your Business Brain Source: Innovation Engineering
  37. 37. Idea #1 Brain Operating System Idea #2 Idea #3 Idea #4 Stimuli Stimuli Stimuli Stimuli Stimulus sets off a CHAIN Reaction!!! Source: Jump Start your Business Brain Source: Innovation Engineering
  38. 38. Communicate/ Check
  39. 39. For clarity of objective • If you can’t explain your ideas to an 8 year old, it’s too complicated • Don’t assume people will understand • Follow the 7P’s for effective communication Why communication within the organization matters
  40. 40. • Write the ideas down before discussing • Make sure that whatever you discuss gives a complete meaning • Clarify the objective before discussion • Be accurate • Tell your employees what you expect out of them How to communicate effectively
  41. 41. A good formula = 7P’s
  42. 42. The bigger the organization, the higher are chances of lack of clarity • When you are by yourself , it is easy to understand • When you’re in a group you have to fight for clarity • There are 2 very easy solutions • Use checklists • Write your ideas down
  43. 43. How to make brilliant ideas Talk with Friends Really Ugly Meetup Event Still Ugly Speak at Conference Less Ugly Investor Presentation Good Enough
  44. 44. Systems
  45. 45. Ask 10 successful companies about the systems that drove their success … You’ll get 10 different answers. This is because systems help • Optimize communication • Foster leadership • Make it easier to make decisions • Help your people grow
  46. 46. Benefits of the ABCs method
  47. 47. Summary
  48. 48. The reality is the ABCs is just an easy way to remember a process … The choice of a process/system is less important than having a process that: Increases Speed Removes risk
  49. 49. Now my secrets…
  50. 50. I have been working on this a long time… TRUE Truly Simple A 70% success rate scale up program N Narrative. Why it is important (the story) People have big dreams, helping them is the right thing to do O Objective A sytem to deliver the same success rates I've had R Restrictions: We are not interested in Something that can be taught and shared T Tactical Constraints: It will work in any industry H Here is the place to start Innovation Engineering and any other program that is proven to work
  51. 51. My New Book A joint project with accelerators / Experts around the world A combination of theory and hands on exercises Introductions: A = Alignment How to build organizational alignment B = Build How to build better ideas quicker C = Communicate / Check How to clearly communicate and check your ideas S = Systems How to set up the right systems to lead and get better over time Conclusions
  52. 52. There have been many cycles on the way.
  53. 53. Cycle # 1 Innovation Engineering
  54. 54. The world’s best content and learning systems Key Strengths A Fact based approach Teaching skills by doing "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.“ But long and expensive (for European scale ups)
  55. 55. Key Learnings • World class content • Great “learn by doing” exercises • But too much of a good thing - 4 semesters of content TRY SHORTER, FASTER.
  56. 56. A new shorter version… A team to create A weekend version
  57. 57. Cycle # 2 Scale-Up Weekend
  58. 58. Key Learnings • A fast proven format • Working with peers - tested and successful • But concerns about confidentiality and it hard to compete against free • A need for more time to create real results Look for best practices TEST a “program”
  59. 59. A best practices program A Joint study Best practices
  60. 60. Cycle# 3 100 Days To Grow
  61. 61. Do Mentors / Accelerators help ? • There is no empirical evidence that mentors or accelerators help growing business (except when the mentor is an angel investor) • Mentors have been shown to build a false sense of security and get companies too focused on the “big ideas • In a review of 35 academic articles and 38 studies, the Kauffman association concluded “no evidence that companies are more successful if they come out of an incubator” Sideline: Angel mentors don’t build upside, but remove downside risk
  62. 62. Another “View”
  63. 63. Opportunities • The typical program uses Entrepreneurs, the skills that make a good entrepreneur are the not the same as a coach / teacher (shallow narrow focus) • Too much help ‘they never learn to fish’ • Too little help ‘here is a space and money..go.. • Fixed timings to build urgency (some notable exceptions) • Learn from programs with proven track records (share experience) 1. Structured / Fixed timings 2. Education to build skills/mindsets 3. Mentors working in their expertise 4. Working with peers (in addition to mentors) 5. Forcing moments 6. Learning cycles 7. Eco-system development 7 ways to do it better
  64. 64. And we haven’t even mentioned Mentor whiplash!!
  65. 65. The issue is not mentors, but the systems in which they mentor Systems can be fixed
  66. 66. 100 Days With 6 Companies
  67. 67. Key Learnings • Regular cycles great • Working together good • But… Everyone moves at different speeds • Deadlines don’t work like they do for start-ups (there is not quick catch-ups)
  68. 68. Cycle # 4 Cycles Book + Accelerator Training
  69. 69. What is the idea now … A co-created book plus a training program
  70. 70. Biggest Risk = Collaboration
  71. 71. Results 17 chapters 8 co-authors agreed 4 events planned The proposal to co -authors We want your brain not your pain Step #1 Each chapter will be written jointly with my co-authors as a 20- 30 minutes power point presentation Step #2: The Ghost writer will write up the chapter based on this content Step #3: Feedback from the co- authors and sign off
  72. 72. What would you do next ? What is the biggest risk now? How could this be tested/ mitigated ?

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