Creating Competitive Advantage at Expansion Stage Companies

June 1, 2010

When creating competitive advantage, its all about the people at your expansion stage business

Back last December, I wrote a blog titled “People… the only strategic asset you have” where I discussed the need for managers to frankly assess their management teams and management needs and if necessary upgrade and or expand the team. Reason being, at the end of the day the difference between the winners and losers in the world of software is the quality of the people within the company.

As a Boston venture capital firm that invests growth capital in expansion stage software companies, we spend a tremendous amount of our time working with the founders and CEO’s to build great management teams as the foundation to building great companies. We have even added recruiting support as one of our business development services within OpenView Labs.

I was catching up on my reading this weekend when I came across and article that peaked my interest. The title was “Pay takes a back seat to happiness, survey finds”. The essence of the article was that the results of the local survey mirror national trends. The core point they make is that while pay and benefits need to be competitive, that is not what keeps good people at a company in the end.

In a ranking of what employees value most it came out in the order below by importance

  1. 78% Direction of the organization
  2. 74% Execution of the organization
  3. 74% Career opportunities within the organization
  4. 74% Conditions within and how people are treated by the organization
  5. 65% Management within the organization
  6. 53% Pay & Benefits

If you believe that people make the difference, then job #1 is finding them then and job #2 is keeping them.

A management team’s ability to communicate the company’s strategy, maintain focus within the organization, and drive execution makes all the difference in the world when you are looking to build a great company.

I would be curious to know your thoughts on this topic?

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.