A little background… • From Glenavy, Co. Antrim. • Studied Queen‟s University, Belfast. • Joined First Derivatives Plc in January 2001, with a focus on New York from early 2002. • Joined Wombat as the second FTE in Jan 2004, based in New York. • Wombat was acquired by NYSE in 2008. • Became COO of NYSE Technologies through to April 2010. • Founded Lough Shore Investments in November 2010. w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 1: Be brave and go for it • There are thousands of armchair generals when it comes to business, it‟s easy to talk a good fight without ever getting out there and onto the battlefield. • Dare to dream, most people underestimate what can be achieved in 10 years (and overestimate what can be achieved in 1 year). • Most people will try to talk you out of it, be brave and stay the course. • Risk management is key, always understand, “What‟s the worst that could happen!?” Rams Island, Christmas Day 2010 w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 2: It is all about the team • Building a world class technology business is about building a world class team. • Find a partner in crime, then build a core team of five. • Find like-minded people, with positive energy (“fire in their bellies”), work rate, and a penchant for getting stuff done. • Get the right people on the bus! (and wrong people off the bus) - Jim CollinsGolden Rules:• Hiring (and retention) are defining skills.• “A‟s hire A‟s and B‟s hire C‟s” – Steve Jobs• Remember the "Birds of a feather” principle.• Mentors are key, Aristotle mentored Alexander the Great.• Slow to hire, quick to fire. w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
The Dream Team, March 2008 w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 3: Is there money in it?• This should be every entrepreneurs first question, often though, it‟s their last.• Ask yourself, what‟s unique about your business? Who‟s your competition?• Can the business model (and company) scale even if there is a potential market?• „A mediocre company in a storming sector will often give a much better return than the best run business in a dying sector‟ – Warren Buffet• Wombat was the next interation of a proven model: • Every decade (going back centuries) a new player emerges and iterates the model. • TIBCO & Rich Systems Inc. were examples of this in the 1980s & 1990s. • We were a combative customer focused fintech company in a marketplace that was very lucrative for winners. w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 4: Always Be Closing (ABC) • If you are not closing deals you‟re running a research project (or hobby), not a business. • Deals are the lifeblood of any business. • Closing deals early and consistently can have a massive impact on cash flow, balance sheet growth, business scalability, retention of equity and perhaps most important, product direction.• Always be delivering, sourcing great talent, finishing projects, engaging with customers, communicating & fund raising.• There are lots of starters out there, to make it big, an entrepreneur needs to be a great finisher too (see right!). w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 5: The Dreamweaver (I sell dreams…) In 1961, President Ford’s dream was a Kennedy told America car for every he would put a man on household in rural the moon within ten America, the first truly years. They did it in nine. affordable automobile. • Build a vision which resonates with a key pain point or aspiration. • Communicate this vision to the team, customers, industry, competitors, investors & potential hires. • The entrepreneur with the strongest vision wins! w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 6: Compound growth Einstein considered Buffet’s life story “The compound interest “the snowball”. most powerful force in the universe”. • To make it big in the medium term, entrepreneurs need to understand the power of compound growth (including how it relates to building a balance sheet). • It is a concept that‟s fundamental to growing a customer base, cash flow, team, balance sheet, & retaining equity. • Small changes in level of debt, revenue growth, margin, return on equity, have massive impacts on how a business scales in the medium term. w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Pillar 7: Mr Consistency• Get the small calls right and grind out the results, consistently. Day after day, week after week, year after year.• It‟s all about base hits and RBIs (i.e. take the base hits and the home runs will come). Or, as they say in Ireland, take your points and the goals will come!• The concept of the “flywheel” is key, aggregating hundreds of small wins to build sustainable momentum – Jim Collins w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Summary Pillar 1: Be brave and go for it Pillar 2: It is all about the team Pillar 3: Is there money in it? Pillar 4: Always Be Closing (ABC) Pillar 5: The Dreamweaver (I sell dreams…) Pillar 6: Compound growth Pillar 7: Mr Consistency w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
Recommended Reading 1: Good to Great by Jim Collins 2: Moneyball by Michael Lewis 3: The Essays of Warren Buffet (Lessons for Investors & Managers) by Lawrence A. Cunningham w: loughshore.co - Tw: @loughshore
A particular slide catching your eye?
Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later.