Another Excellent IEI Program: David Cummings on Iteration

Earlier this month I attended a meeting of Atlanta’s Institute for Enterprise and Innovation (IEI), an organization with a lot of heart about which I’ve posted before (see TechRazorBlog, 4/25/10) at which the featured presenter was David Cummings, a serial entrepreneur whose Hannon Hill was listed as an Inc. 500 company several years ago and whose Shot Put Ventures is involved with funding so-called “seed stage” web services companies.  Cummings offered a number of useful insights and reminders about basic start up business blocking and tackling as he recounted how he and his business colleagues grew Hannon Hill into a substantial content management software company.  Among these, were:

  • He cited the iterative process in business as a key to success, which is the idea of continually going back to the drawing board to fine tune a particular business model or activity until the desired result or a profitable business model is achieved.
  • As his business grew his notion of what it meant for his business to be successful evolved from getting to a certain size and being able to sustain itself without his direct involvement to a much simpler notion of creating an environment where he and those he worked with could do good work with good people for good pay.
  • A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed tomorrow — make the most of the product, the people, the situation that you have now rather than waiting for what you wish you had.   This is, of course, a variation on the idea about not letting the great be the enemy of the good.

There were other spot-on observations about challenges faced by bootstrapping entrepreneurs and approaches to overcoming those obstacles.  IEI is planning to record and archive its monthly presentations, so this is one worth checking out.

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