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Day 1 Evening - Lessons In Team Structure And Client Management Ahmed Metwally
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Day 1 Evening - Lessons In Team Structure And Client Management Ahmed Metwally

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  • 1. Lead to Win Lessons in Team Structure and Client Management July 28 th , 2009 Ahmed Metwally
  • 2. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 3. How we started
    • Q4-2006: 2 Techies (Boston & Ottawa) An idea to build the next Media convergence platform.
    • Q1-2007: Analyzing market, Biz Plan, recruited 3rd Partner (Sales), talking to clients,…
    Slide
  • 4. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 5. Detour
    • Situation
    • Potential to land a large account, so focused on a single client needs:
      • 20% base product.
      • 80% custom work.
    • Result
    • Spent 6 months travelling, meeting, working on solution design for a single client problem.
    • Despite all efforts, could not land the account.
    Slide
  • 6. Lesson learned
    • Watch out for the dangling carrot. Don’t build your strategy/development around a single client unless you have a signed contract.
    • Don’t fall for the product development catch-22: client has custom requirements but wants to buy a ready product.
    • Listen to clients but focus on core product (6 months could have been spent working on the core product).
    Slide
  • 7. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 8. Product development
    • Q2-2007: Prototype, LoI, VC Term sheet.
    • Q3-2007: First client signed (Intel), Need to hire engineers…
    Slide
  • 9. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 10. Idling
    • Situation
    • A contract was signed, so had to accelerate development.
    • Hired good enough resources.
    • Result
    • Development decelerated!
    Slide
  • 11. Lessons learned
    • Good enough is NEVER good enough.
    • If you are in doubt, DON’T hire.
    • You need to hire the next generation of leaders, not employees.
    • They HAVE TO believe.
    • Maintain your culture, maintain the momentum.
    • Employees cannot do that, only leaders can.
    Slide
  • 12. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 13. Restructure
    • Q1-2008: Down from 18 to 5.
    • Q1-2009: 30+ team members (15 developers + 6 contractors).
    • Q1-2009: Target client profile well defined.
    • Q1-2009: 3 stage sales process in place.
    Slide
  • 14. Agenda
    • How we started
    • Detour
    • Product development
    • Idling
    • Restructure
    • On Track
    Slide
  • 15. On Track
    • Q2-2009: 1 st large deal.
    • Q3-2009: 2 nd large deal.
    • Q4-2009: Planned public launch.
    Slide
  • 16. Lessons learned
    • Act your size. Small has its benefits.
    • Walk away from large clients’ pressure.
    • Commit to realistic results.
    • Over achieve on your commitments.
    • Pre-Sales engineering is just for assessment. NEVER do anything for free.
    • Adhere to your process. Your client will respect you for it.
    Slide
  • 17. Summary
    • Listen to potential clients, ask questions, learn from them, know their pain.
    • Stay focused; don’t make major shifts. Define and find your ideal client.
    • Look for potential leaders; stop hiring employees.
    • Follow your sales process.
    • You cannot afford to do work for free.
    Slide