Dilbert and the Reset Button… is it time?

May 11, 2010

Last week I was reading the WSJ online Small Business section. They had an article that I thought was appropriate for early stage and expansion stage software companies’ founders and CEO’s to think about as they look to grow their businesses and ratchet up their performance.

The article was titled “Time to Reset Your Business?”. When I read it I also remembered the Dilbert strip from a few weeks ago that seemed to fit the article and drive home the point. The gist of the article is that companies in search of much needed revenue consider starting new product and service lines may begin to stray and that may be the time to consider resetting your business. I actually wrote blog that is relevant to this article with an emphasis on focus as one of the keys to success for software companies.

The article is relevant whether you are looking to raise your first round of venture capital, already have venture funding, are looking to raise another round venture capital or are still bootstrapping with your own capital and/or some angel capital.

If you take the time to read the WSJ article they talk about the “four steps” to reset your business.

  • Reset Step 1: Pick a single scalable product or service.
  • Reset Step 2: Get the cash flowing.
  • Reset Step 3: Fire yourself.
  • Reset Step 4: Start saying no.

The above points don’t just apply to struggling companies but also to successful growing companies. Management teams should always be looking to strengthen their focus versus dilute their efforts to leverage their growth capital and people resources for the greatest return possible.
In addition, companies that are looking for investors should always make sure that their business growth strategy is not to be all things in all markets if they expect to successfully raise expansion capital in today’s world.

My advice to any entrepreneur is get up every morning and look in the mirror and ask yourself “Is it time to reset the business?”… not just when you are struggling but even when you are successful. These efforts will always improve the odds of not just a successful exit but a great exit!

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.