From Our Own World: A Business Hackathon in Paris

 In Industry News

Synergy In Paris, France, April 2014 from Hans Peter Bech on Vimeo.

TBK Consult is a network of management consultants that help software companies grow locally and globally. The objective of our services is to make our clients global market leaders in their selected target market segments.

Making any company a global market leader is obviously no trivial task.

What is the recipe?

Twice a year we get together to discuss our experience with growing software companies. This time we are meeting in Paris, France. More about this in a later post.

The TBK Consult web site Hackathon

In the days prior to the Synergy Conference a small group of TBK Consult partners got together to give our web site a well deserved face lift. We were on version 4.0 of our web site and version 5.0 had been on the agenda for a very long time.

Ezoic provides automated Web analysis to optimize the layout of websitesMaking a web site is a project with millions of options.

Everyone has great ideas and suggestions.

How do you compile the suggestions and ideas and come to a conclusion?

The pressure of having to produce something tangible has a very positive impact on the final discussions. A slim budget and a fixed deadline force you to come to a conclusion and act.

We worked out of a small apartment near Port Maillot that we had rented through AirBnB. We dropped out for meals and coffee at nearby cafés.

In just over 48 hours we managed to define the final site map, produce the content and ship it off to our designers in Estonia and our web site plumbers in Chicago.

The path to market leadership

The Hackathon approach we used for getting version 5 of our web site out of the door is not so different from the approach it takes to achieve market leadership in the software industry.
The Picture2The ability to drive short planning and execution cycles is key. Making a grand plan and executing this plan may sound like the way to go. However, with the dynamics of and the visibility in the software industry such an approach is doomed to fail.

We have already abandoned terms such as “strategy” and “business plan.” Instead we have introduced the business model framework and the business model environment.

The business model framework helps us maintain a structured approach to optimizing the way we do business. The business model environment helps us understand and navigate all those factors that we cannot control, but cannot afford to ignore either. Moving forward is a series of middle-distance running heats. Applying the Hackathon format for reviewing performance of the previous and planning the next heats is an excellent approach. Keeping the momentum going and getting things done is paramount. Learning from your interaction with customers and business partners is more valuable than trying to guess it all up front and bet the farm on a single grand strategy and formidable plan.

Growing software companies requires a steady flow of Business Hackathons.

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