Borys Bradel's Blog
Go It Alone and The Point System
Tags: blogs, books, business June 3, 2008
I recently read an online book, Go It Alone! that was pointed to from a blog which I don't remember.
The central idea is to find a way of automating a process as much as possible, market what you are selling, and set a price that is lower than what can be set for a manual process. The central tenet is that you must use your best strengths and talents to create whatever you are selling. Note that the most automated process is an item, however, services can also work as long as they are automated for the most part.
The most important thing is to find some way of differentiating yourself from others. This is usually done through marketing/selling. Although other aspects of going at it alone are to test various theories (e.g. have lots of business facades), make easy access to customer feedback, minimize risk, hide success, use inexpensive information travel (such as word of mouth), be very secretive, have a good interface, have good customer support, use automated not necessarily perfect off the shelf solutions, monitor competitors, have the best features for a specific market, use good metrics, and map out all details.
Metrics need to be set up to measure how well the business is going. These need to be about what drives the business and any effect on these metrics should have an effect on profitability. The points where the effect is greatest need to be focused on.
All the details also need to be mapped out: all tasks, all metrics, and all effects of each. Once that is done some of these can be outsourced assuming that it is possible to effectively manage the outsourcing.
The book also states that the difference between a business person/entrepreneur and a freelancer is that a freelancer does not benefit fully from their work because they don't share in the profits while business people do. The business person builds capital that could be sold in the future (that may not work because there's a good chance that without the main employee no one would buy the business). Also, when there is no work a freelancer cannot work while a business person can try to improve the business.
Unfortunately besides whatever core competence a person has, two others are required: being a good sales person and having marketable ideas. I lack both of these. Therefore the book was not that interesting to me.
There was, however, one interesting idea: to use a point system for work. The idea is to assign points to tasks that need to be performed and don't stop working in a day until some predefined number of points is reached. That is a good idea which I should try out. Figuring out how to list tasks and assign points to them should be interesting.
Copyright © 2008 Borys Bradel. All rights reserved. This post is only my possibly incorrect opinion.