April 21 to 27, was a much better week at work than the last two weeks! From top to bottom in the organization I saw a renewed interest in solving the customer's problem, and not just making a cool product and expecting customers to show up and buy it. I expressed my opinion to the relevant people in the previous weeks in nearly the same words I used in my blog, and I see the change happening. Instead of the customer visit being just two people as it was originally planned, it will be five people, including me.
Another concern has popped up in my mind, are we growing too fast? I'm a big fan of organic growth. Put another way, I think a mountaineer should slowly build up skills on easy routes and short mountains before tackling hard routes and tall mountains. In other words, I don't see us having enough customer delivery contracts to justify the number of people we are hiring. That could all change with the stroke of a pen, but I'd rather us sign that contract and then hire people than hire people and hope we sign that contract.
It's fascinating to see these issues. At a 180 year old company, these things just aren't issues. Management understands responding to the customer in a timely manner, the importance of face to face meetings, and doesn't grow faster than sales dictate. So it's fun to watch the flip side of that. Although it is like being in the TV series Silicon Valley with it's ups and downs. The hard part is that it seems there is no middle ground. Either we're going to be successful, and I'm going to be rich, or we're not going to survive. That being said, given our current contracts I like to imagine that worst case scenario all but four people are laid off and those four would then have a nice little lifestyle business selling our most mature product. Kind of like this. Frankly, if I was one of the laid off people, I'd do just fine, in fact, I can think of a couple uses for our one small existing product at the moment that I would then have the time to create a new product around.
My ankle has greatly improved! I even went for a two mile hike on Saturday! I started Physical therapy and went twice this week, and had a deep tissue massage which have all helped my to have a greater range of motion in my ankle. I again went rock climbing indoor this week, and did three 5.10s, which is pretty incredible in my mind for having a kneed high boot on. I even ditched the ankle brace on Saturday!
I hope you had a good week too!