On Monday Fellows met with Scott Weber for another awesome session of our Informatics course. Scott’s story is amazing enough in itself. He headed Indiana’s first public software company as it went through its IPO back in 1994; he started an incubator five months before the dotcom bubble; and he started his first, although unsuccessful, company right out of college. Today Scott has reduced his work week from 100 plus hours to just 60. And, instead of leading companies he now advises them. I would like to focus on several topics Scott passed to us that I found valuable.
On Evaluating a New Business
Scott was asked to provide details on how he evaluates companies in his current roles. Below are the top five takeaways. I was really impressed with researching similar S-1 filings and finding their business model and copying aspects of it.
- Looking for a team that has already been there before
- Evaluate and mimic similar S-1 filings
- Market capacity to grow to 9 figure revenues
Stated company culture on first page of employee handbook
- Expect drastic change every six months or less
- Politics will not play a part in hiring or firing
- Employees are expected to know their jobs better than their bosses
- Revenue per employee of $200K to $300K
On Creating GOSPA’s
Scott also spoke to us on creating Annual Operating Plans in our work, personal, and professional paths. The goal is to get all three of these to align and continue down a directed track towards success. GOSPA stands for Goals, Objectives, Strategy, Priorities and Actions.
On Hiring New Employees
- Searching for top 10 percenters that will ensure the organization always has more brain power than required at the current time
- Looking for individuals that are upwardly mobile , fast learners and agile
- Discovering people who know where they are going and this position is part of their trek
- The most important questions (no matter age): “What do you want to be when you grow up!”
On HALO Angel Funding
HALO Capital Group has provided approximately $15 million to Central Indiana entrepreneurs. Scott is a member of the 20 plus panel group of Angel investors. Business plans are submitted on the HALO site. All the business plan submissions are funneled down to the top two. The top two are selected and chosen to present at the bi-monthly meeting in front of the 20 person panel. The presentations are 20 minutes long with Q&A for another 10 minutes. HALO Capital Group does not provide funding as an entity. The funding is purely Angel and ranges from $100K to $1M. Besides getting the capital required for continued growth, the entrepreneurs are also getting the intellectual power that has successfully run Central Indiana's top companies for several decades.
The course is half way over and the quantity of learning/takeaways has been phenomenal. This has been one of the most beneficial experiences the Fellowship has provided.