How Innovative Tech Companies Scale Up and Push the Boundaries During a Global Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people consume things, including technology. With online meetings, Netflix-binging, and online shopping happening more frequently than ever, the tech businesses are booming.
We undeniably need technology. It keeps us informed, connected, and provided with our needs. Living without Amazon, Facebook, and Youtube, among others, is the dynamics of the past. Things definitely have changed, and we have the technology to credit for it.
The stats say it all― we live in a world where tech companies thrive. Amazon reaching a company value of $1.14 trillion last month is a proof of that. All the other big tech companies, which were negatively affected during the first weeks of the pandemic, are now making their way to the top of the market. Microsoft is now valued at $1.32 trillion. Facebook at $577 billion. Apple at $1.26 trillion. If those are not a flashing red signal of how immense tech companies have grown, then I don’t know what is.
Given these data, the tech industry is definitely not going anywhere in the foreseeable future. They are bound to stay in our laptops, smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs. With this in mind, diving deep into how tech businesses are growing despite the pandemic is a profoundly interesting topic that I deem worthy investing time and effort in.
I have always been fascinated by how tech companies are shifting the paradigm and in doing so, impacting our daily lives. I created this podcast so you and I can get a glimpse of their world and learn how they are creating our future.
What we talk about
The mission of this podcast is to have honest, open and engaging conversations and tell you about everything there is to know about the tech industry― the how and whys― in a comprehensible, informative way.
For starters, we delve into what tech leaders are doing now, and how their companies are coping with the pandemic. We will listen to their stories, ups & downs, and how they deal with the downs. I find this highly useful since it’s not just my insight and experience that matter, but others’ as well.
How does corporate life change given the distancing rules forced upon businesses by the pandemic? What role does tech play in all of this? How do digital systems appeal to the workers and the masses? Those are just some of the questions that my dedicated podcasts will answer.
Who are we talking to?
As mentioned earlier, the tech industry is booming. And innovation is fueling the growth. Even before the pandemic, innovation has propelled the tech industry. The only difference is, it’s propelling it more now.
Due to this, we’ll sit down with tech leaders to see exactly how innovation helps the tech industry move forward. The whys behind the call for innovation among SMEs and big companies will be tackled. Tips for startups and aspiring tech leaders out there will be given, too (e.g. how pioneering companies can break into markets by not only having good tech, but credible stories and branding to back them up).
How tech is leading the way
The benefits of listening to this podcast don’t stop there. We’ll see how tech helps the vulnerable, which is affected the most by the pandemic. Tech businesses can help in many ways, including providing medical information and getting involved in community activities. Contrary to popular belief, tech companies live up to their corporate social responsibilities.
Furthermore, tech businesses have played an integral part in making it easier for us to stay at home, track the virus, and curb its effects—credits to food delivery services, contact-tracing, distance learning, and funny memes, which were all made possible by the tech industry.
In fact, an increasing number of tech companies are finding more ways to help fight the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. They’re doing it not just for the prestige, but more so for the sake of mankind. Surviving this pandemic just won’t be possible without the tech industry’s help.
At the end of the day, the tech industry has given us benefits that are hard to contest. For this very reason, the tech industry, unlike many other industries, continues to thrive amidst the pandemic.
Enjoy listening and I look forward to connecting with you
Founder & Host
Why did Nelson Mandela decide to unify the Rainbow Nation on his release from Robin Island in 1990?
During his 27years in prison, the South African government went about suppressing a large part of the population, which included his family and friends.
With the heart-breaking climax of the Soweto uprising in 1976!
So, on his release from prison his path to reconciliation seemed to be clear-cut, and the approach, into a new dawn, similar to maybe that of neighboring nations.
His options seemed limited.
Yet, he had the vision to see what others didn’t and so his options became limitless
And unlike his compatriots from neighboring countries, he chose a route less traveled, one that unified a nation with deep wounds from years of hardship.
Now, how does this relate to business, and scaling?
In even the hardest situation imaginable, you have a choice.
To move the NEEDLE 360, you must see what others don’t.
Unite your team “Ubuntu”
Founder & Host
I’ve noticed, over the years, that whenever I startup with a new client, inevitably the C-word comes up.
There is a discussion about the COMPETITION, and in some instances obsession as to what they are doing and why they’re doing it.
Now, it’s definitely good to understand the market and the players.
But is that where you should focus your energy?
I realized the reasons CEOs focus on the competition was due to lack of market understanding,
and eagerness to remain within the establishment (i.e. you need to catch the leader)
Now, it’s all good to try and catch someone, but what happens if their situation & the problem they’re solving is different or nuanced from what your customers want?
So, if you’re obsessing over the competition – then imagine what it would be like to use that energy on your business
You will see:
- Customers wanting to use your product
- Less customer churn
- Greater product recognition
Going from “follower” to “leader” will be one of the best things to happen to your business
Founder & Host
What’s the difference between Liverpool’s premier league team of the 90s vs the team under Klopp?
The team of the 90s had lots of ups & downs and lost the aura of invincibility
With the climax of the now infamous 1996 FA Cup Final and their more infamous label of “Spice Boys”
It looked like the team of the 90s chose to be WANNABES.
Now fast forward to the Klopp era.
They too had a hefty weight of expectation on their shoulders. The club was going through a period of structural transition, and the team was young & still to be tested at the highest level.
And just like their compatriots from ’90s they had choices
However, this time around the pathway chosen was different and the climax more dramatic, with the team lifting the premier league title last season; this team chose to be a RELENTLESS MACHINE.
What does this have to do with business?
In any given situation, you have a choice.
To get to the NEXT LEVEL, you must always ask yourself,
“What TEAM do we want to be?”
Evolve your team, and you’ll never walk alone
Founder & Host
How to Remove The Silos: A Function of Leadership & Team Building
As you scale are you finding silos are emerging? Are your days spent resolving team conflicts?
Do you feel like your Zoom team meetings are never-ending and you don't make progress on critical issues that can move your business forward?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you’re in the same situation my clients were
You have a great product and talented team, but there may be fear of USEFUL conflict, LACK of preparation, and AVOIDANCE of accountability
Which all leads to BELOW-PAR results
But here’s what I believe: most executives don’t like holding each other to account, especially when it comes to peer behavior
Because let’s face it, you want to avoid interpersonal discomfort
So, how do you remove these dysfunctions and siloes from emerging?
- Uncover the issue by listening, and listing down all the objections and obstacles your team has
- Hold targeted sessions or away days to the workshop
- Identify the main problem, and relay this back to the group
- Divide the group up into teams, and task them with outlining potential solutions
- Outline an action plan that will propel you forward & revisit
Once you achieve clarity and buy-in, then you hold each other to account for what you sign up to do.
Founder & Host
From Process to Ritual: Plotting Rituals Turbocharge your Objectives
How close are you to achieving your objective of IPO or acquisition?
Are you spending a major part of your day resolving inter-department conflicts? such as dealing with how to deliver bespoke client solutions
Or do you see customer complaints rising? with the end result of increased customer churn
I’m certain you’ve made an effort into building the processes that support your growth, but somehow the pieces of the puzzle haven’t come together
If that’s your experience, here’s an idea for your consideration:
if you want to achieve your objectives, then zoom in on the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly rituals that will propel you forward. Rituals such as:
- The mantra for decision making (i.e. base your decisions on a question such as “will this make us go faster?”)
- OKRs (i.e. the cadence of review could match the scaling agenda & link cross functionally)
Because when you achieve this, you’ll see:
- Inter-department collaboration & problem solving
- Positive feedback from customers
- Conflicts removed
- Growth goals ticked off step by step
So, as you plot your rituals, always keep asking: How does this move you closer to your objective?
“Because what got you here, won’t necessarily get you there”
Founder & Host
From Envy to Leading the Pack: A ScaleUp Story
Is your tech top of the class but you're struggling to keep up with the competition?
Do you feel you are losing out on opportunities as delivery isn’t moving forward as expected?
Or are you envious of your competition when they release new products and enter new markets?
My clients used to struggle with this, too.
They had top-of-the-class tech but were being SUCKED into customization builds and on top of this company-wide prioritization was lacking, which drained FOCUS.
But here’s what I believe: It doesn’t matter if you have ‘top of class tech’, what matters is you're solving a business problem for your customer.
And internally you have the right PROCESS to continuously deliver.
When you remain committed to the process, you won't worry about what the competition is doing.
Here are 3 steps to stay true to your customers (and worry less about your competitors):
- Be ruthless in selecting and understanding your target market
- Align on the problem you're solving (sales, product, development teams must all be in sync
- Put in the structures that will allow you to continuously prioritize & evolve (product design boards can help align customer feedback & internal teams
Trust the process and iterate it to improve.
Founder & Host