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Core 1 from idea to plan - Mark Farmer
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Core 1 from idea to plan - Mark Farmer



BEN/BCS Tech Start-up School: Core 1 - From Idea to Plan

BEN/BCS Tech Start-up School: Core 1 - From Idea to Plan
Monday 20th September



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  • The Plan General Douglas Haig was the mastermind behind the plan of action of the battle.   In December 1915, Haig was appointed commander in chief of the BEF; therefore, he played a major role in the Battle of the Somme.   He was confident that his plan would work; that they would break through the German lines, and bring the allies to victory.   The plan that finally emerged seemed to have had only limited goals, and there were three main parts to the plan that was definitely going to win in Haig’s eyes.                   The first part was to have a massive artillery barrage, along an eighteen mile long section of the front.   The aim of this was ultimately to kill German soldiers and destroy their trenches and the barbed wire that surrounded them.   Haig hoped to employ the use of one thousand five hundred British guns, backed by about the same number from the French artillery.                 The second part of the plan was to advance and capture by British soldiers of these positions, and, thirdly, a grand charge through these positions by Haig’s beloved cavalry, under the command of General Gough.   The cavalry were to sweep northwards and attack the remaining German positions and "roll them up" from the south.   Nevertheless, it has to be made clear, that each of these stages of the plan would only be successful if the previous part plan was completed without fail.   However, there was huge disagreement with this plan, from Sir Henry Rawlinson.   Rawlinson was commander of the British expedition, sent to help defend Antwerp from the German Army, and as commander of the Fourth Army, played an important role at the  Battle of the Somme .   Rawlinson disagreed with Haig’s idea of a cavalry based break through.   He wanted a more ‘bite and hold’ theory, where the army would capture one German line and then stay there, until there were sure that it had been captured.                   Haig, and Rawlinson especially, had considerable doubts about the professional skills of the soldiers of the New Army, since they had not been tried on a large scale in battle, and also about their courage.   As a result, they felt the attack had to be made ‘easy’ for them, by preparing the way with a huge artillery bombardment, so that when the soldiers went over the top, all they would have to do was to stroll across no-mans land, and occupy the enemy positions.   Overwhelming artillery blast kill demoralise & destroy barbed wire Advancing infantry Followed by cavalry Problem bomabrdment – germans were deep underground half the shells didnt explode didnt detroy bardbed wire Infantry met with unexecpted resistance Barbed wire not cut volunteers - untrained slaughtered did not have a plan B were shot by their own side choas Plan’s success was predicated on success of each phase Clearly wasnt working but he Didnt listen Sent 400,000 men to their death Got nowhere

Core 1 from idea to plan - Mark Farmer Core 1 from idea to plan - Mark Farmer Presentation Transcript

  • From Idea to Plan Mark Farmer Eden Ventures
  • Eden Ventures
    • Early stage software
    • Founded by serial entrepreneurs
    • Invested in 56 companies over last 15 years
    • Second fund - £90m
    • Unlike most VCs
      • We invest very early
      • Write small cheques
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Planning scenarios
    • By failing to plan, you are planning to fail
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • few plans survive the first shots of battle
    • Battle of the Somme, 1916
    • Objective –
      • break through enemy lines
    • Plan
      • Overwhelming artillery bombardment
      • Send in the infantry
      • Followed by cavalry
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only General Douglas Haig
  • The Five Year Plan
    • Anyone with a five year plan clearly doesn’t know what he is talking about
    • Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.
    • chairman of the board and CEO of IBM from April, 1993-2002 
    • largely credited with turning around IBM's fortunes
    • Nett worth $603m
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Plans are never perfect
    • The picture is never clear, and is always changing
    • Never have perfect information
    • The best you can do
      • Get the best information you can,
      • make the best judgement you can
      • be prepared to be wrong
    • BUT
    • Your goals should be clear
    • Your plan should identify the steps necessary to get there
      • Be prepared to change the plan
    • Ensure your people
      • Understand the goal
      • Understand the plan
      • Know what they are doing
      • Are bought in
      • Understand what to do if it starts going wrong
      • Are part of the feedback loop and the planning process
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • The plan starts with the goal
    • Land at Bristol airport
    • Break the through enemy line
    • Get to the top of Everest
    • Create a $1bn company
    • Keep the goals clear, well communicated, constant
      • But be prepared to change if the goal starts to look unattainable
    • Think about the timescale
      • 5yr goal vs 5 year plan
      • 5 yr goals into annual objectives
      • Annual into quarterly, quarterly into monthly
      • Plans will fall out
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Example – NVM
    • $1bn in 5 years
    • 30x30x30
    • £150m revenue = 150,000 seats at £80 per seat per month
    • Year 5 adding 75 customers per month
    • Work it all back to year 1 Objectives for
      • Customer numbers
      • Customer adds
    • What do I need to achieve the numbers?
      • Lead generation & conversion
      • Sales capacity & productivity
      • Provisioning capability
      • capacity
    • Your 12 month plan becomes the programmes that you try in order to achieve your 12 month objectives
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • The how
    • Make a bunch of assumptions
      • 1:20:7
      • Monthly ACV per sales head
      • Lead times for provisioning
      • Capacity required per customer
      • Renewal rates
    • Pick off the easy customers first
      • Segment & prioiritise the market
        • Large or small, rich or poor, local, domestic, international
      • Define target profile
      • Get the proposition right for them
    • How will we reach, persuade , ‘provision’, look after customers
    • How will we evolve the proposition
    • How will we deal with competition
    • How will we test our assumptions and check that the plan is working
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Communication
    • Crystal clear
    • My boss’ boss
    • Management team buy in
      • Help Set the goals
      • Agree the priorities
      • Work out the plan
      • Communicate to their people
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Execution
    • You wont get to the top of Everest, unless you actually do some walking
    • Relentless execution
      • Tasks
      • Lists
      • Finish
      • Prioritise
      • Focus
      • Distractions
    • Only 2 things that you can control
      • The amount of time that you spend doing
      • The quality of the things that you do
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Priorities – you cant boil the ocean
    • Take the list of 100 tasks
    • Figure out a system for ranking & prioritising - Aligned to
      • Achieving Goals
      • Winning revenue
      • Keeping customers
      • Driving down costs
      • Improving quality
    • Have quarterly plan
      • Decide which tasks you are going to do this quarter
      • Agree which ones you are not
      • Have a little slack to cope with the unexpected
      • Get them done! (completer finisher)
      • Break down into monthly objectives
      • Have a weekly heart beat (how are we doing)
    • At the end of the quarter, When you have finished – do it again
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Elements of the plan
    • Goals / objectives / metrics
    • Assumptions made
    • Target market & segments to attack
    • Competitive strategy
    • Partnership strategy
    • Go to market strategy
    • The proposition, and how it will develop
    • The customer lifecycle – from lead to cash
    • Major on how (activities)
    • People you need
      • Activities and goals
    • Capital required
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • What goes wrong?
    • Nothing ever goes to plan
    • People
      • Your people
      • Your customers’ people, your competitors people
    • People come and go
    • People change their mind
    • Sh!t happens
    • Be prepared to get it wrong
    • Be prepared to change
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • In summary
    • Set clear goals
      • Your plan will follow
    • Be prepared to change your plan
      • Watch
      • Listen
      • Measure
      • React
      • Dont dither
    • Buy in & Communication
    • Execute
    • And finally....
    Eden One Fund Confidential Eden One Partners Only
  • Good Luck!