Met with three kids (early 20s…is it ageist to call them kids?); educated up to their eyeballs in Ireland – physics, maths and a computer science degree (Although computer science guy said his course was out of the Nineties).
They were heading to Silicon Valley to develop a killer idea. They told me what it was. I agreed. It’s commercial in confidence so I can’t reveal it here.
For the sake of this story I can reveal that it’s aimed at computer programmers and computational scientists. It’s deeply technical but beautifully simple at the same time.
I was getting excited. I asked for their business plan so that I could read more and perhaps help with some insights from my own time running technical teams.
Stunned silence from the kids as they looked open eyed at old man sitting across from them. They were going to the Valley to build it and spray it. In olde English, this meant that they were going to ‘build it and they would come’.
Fearing that these brilliant young people were going to build a great mousetrap, I started teasing out how they were going to develop the business (as opposed to the idea) they had.
I need not have worried. Without realizing it, they had a plan – a killer plan.
Here’s my understanding of it.
• They’re building an open source version.
• This will be posted on Github and other places where their potential users hang out.
• They’ll have a very simple one page website explaining what the product is and how to download it.
• At a certain point in time – these guys were talking weeks – they would reveal a paid enterprise version of the software.
• They described an enterprise sale as selling to people who were not users of the software.
• They had to convince these corporate types that they would not damage their careers by buying this product.
• So there would be a flashy website going up.
• There would be endorsements and references gleaned and repositioned from the ‘opensource’ channel and from a couple of enterprises that they had already lined up.
• There would be white papers and ROI cases because they knew how much money could be saved with their product.
• But to keep their ‘cred’ and keep their ‘vital for research’, ‘roadmap’ etc open source community onboard, there would be an enterprise version available free for ‘users’ who wanted a server version with a generous limit on the number of users.
Oh yeah…they also knew who they were going to sell the company to!
I left that meeting and spent the night writing up what they had told me in the Business Plan writer.
I sent these lads a whole list of detailed questions on financials, projections, size of market, etc.
They had detailed answers back within 24 hours.
I reality checked the plan with my own network and all agreed that this was a serious business idea.
I sent the plan onto the lads feeling as proud as punch that there was some life in the old man yet.
Within 9 hours they had a better, more succinct, refined costed version back to me.
They then Skyped me where they were delighted that the idea was all on paper and claiming that they wouldn’t have even known where to start.
Why am I writing this. To promote the benefits of our new free Business Plan writer. If me and a bunch of kids could jointly use it to develop a business plan, anyone can use it.Signup to Business Plan Template