Design of Business

Business, Culture & Entrepreneurship

Tag: real world

Building a business is still on human scale

This morning I read Om Malik’s piece on DropBox and how they’ve become the company to achieve a billion dollar run rate in the shortest time –  9 yep, nine years!

The Internet might have hastened the pace of our world. The network has turbocharged growth and expansion. However, it looks that growing into business still indexes at human scale.

In the early naughts, when we’d meet venture capitalists, who’d ask “How will you become a billion-dollar business?” (my answer usually was we wouldn’t) and subsequently, when I heard young entrepreneurs pitch business plans, I’d often point out to them that average software product company takes 7-8 years to get to $50M in revenue. Yep 50M in run rate.

So if DropBox was able to get to 1 Billion in the same time, does that mean the clock has gotten faster? The two operative words here are unicorn and average – an even more important word might be run rate!

One way I’ve always thought about it, is despite all the advances in medicine, having a baby still takes – give or take – 9 months. A business in many ways, especially one that lasts, takes time nearer a decade to get to a significant size, on average!

Life – two weeks offline! Aoi Maturi to Zen gardens

From January 2008, several months before I got off the job treadmill, I had gotten a serious case of blog addiction and was going to sleep later each night as I found yet another post to read before signing of. Previously I suspect only the New York Times op-ed pages held that sort of neck craning, fatal car crash fascination. And learning how to use Google reader and doing “research” for my next startup were only excuses I suspect to feed my growing blog addiction. There is something mid-afternoon “Ricki Lake-ish” my-sister-stole-my-boyfriend quality about a lot of the soul baring blogs out there, and I don’t refer to just personal or mommy blogs but even a wide swath of tech and political blogs. While I have been able to turn the telly off, I have had less success with blogs for reasons I am not too sure of. I have probably avoided going there anyways!

Now the good news is that I went off the air, not just in my own writing but also in browsing, lurking, reading or other forms of being online. It helped that I left town with family and that connectivity was intermittent (which I thought would be poor, was not – and yes, I did take my laptop with me). But just doing real world things such as visiting temples, attending festivals, such as the Aoi Maturi and sitting in Zen gardens pondering the imponderables and lots of walking (to/from temples, hole-in-the-wall vegetarian joints and 7/11 stores) and keeping two nearly teen kids engaged kept me unbelievably busy. It also provided some much needed distance and withdrawal from the whole blogosphere which seemed to be sucking my hours and what few grey cells remain. If in early May you’d have told me that I’d be off line for two weeks, I’d have though that serious withdrawal symptoms would incapacitate me – am happy to report that I couldn’t have been wronger. And here I am back adding already to the navel gazing personal post category!

For those of you not wanting to travel to the Orient (or other real world places) here’s one of the most succinct articles on avoiding blog addiction!

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