Guest post by Cal Evans from Gresham International
Cal is the Managing Consultant of Gresham International.
One of the first things I tell my clients when we discuss any activity within the crypto-market is treating the project with the respect it deserves. This concept is either met with a stern look of confusion or a relaxed sigh of relief.
“Respect” is something which must be given to every crypto-project. Regardless of if you are establishing a mining operation, conducting an ICO, or launching some kind of crypto-service. Because of the size and nature of this industry, it is both young and expansive, essentially most people venturing out into this field are pushing out into the unknown.
In my time at university, I was lucky enough to study with a group of guys that were planning to join the Armed Forces immediately after graduation (it is always easier to be an officer with a degree).
Much like someone going into university, they had already given this next move a huge amount of planning and consideration. They had also already selected the branch of the armed forces they were going to join — it turned out that most of them were looking at the paratroopers. Apparently, there is something about jumping out of a moving aircraft which appeals to certain people.
These guys treated each day as if they were already in the forces — exercise and diets were a way of life. However, it was the mentality that really took me by surprise. One slightly drunken evening, I asked two of my classmates why they were joining the paratroopers (or a regiment that had a para-combat element to it). They replied simply,
“Paratroopers are the best, and that’s what we want to be.”
Bravado among the branches of the armed forces aside, they had a very valid point. This point is something which has stuck with me and is now something that I try to impart on my clients very early on. If you take the “paratrooper mentality”, it will always win over the typical “start-up mentality.”
The logic starts with this: you want to be the best at what you do? So model yourself on the best. Not in business, but in attitude. If you have ever read any book about successful business people, you will see the similarities.
Most entrepreneurs are awake before dawn, exercising, getting into their mental state. Let me assure you, paratroopers are doing the same. You want your project to be the best? Well, paratroopers want every mission to be the best… you begin to see the picture forming here.
“You are heading out into uncharted territory,” I tell my clients, “treat it with the respect it deserves.” Your project could be a multi-million dollar project, and this means a number of things have to happen. Most of these can be taken straight from the paratroopers playbook.
Rule 1: Be strategic
Every move you make will determine your outcome and success. Spend time planning the whole project from start to finish. Know where you want your project to go and don’t rush it just because you have a great idea. ICOs that launch too quickly never raise their target potential. Understand the entry point, the milestones, and the end goal.
Rule 2: Pick your team
Selecting your squad is key. Ensure everyone has a positive role and brings something important to the table. Just because someone works with you in another organization or on another project doesn’t mean they need to be on this project. You’re going into the unknown, bring only your A-team.
Rule 3: Call in backup
If you get in too deep, or things aren’t going the way you planned, get on the horn and call in some support. Tactical assistance, an expert in the field you need them. Have a tax question, call a CPA, have a business structure question (call me) or call a lawyer.
Rule 4: Don’t trust the locals
Along the way, you will find people already working in this space claiming to be “experts” — I guarantee it. Check their credentials (LinkedIn, etc.) before you engage with them, especially if you are aligning them with your project. Dead weight and slow movers impact a project’s success.
Rule 5. Understand the mission objectives
Just like our friends in uniform, make sure you and the team understand what the objective is. Crypto-projects that start with one goal in mind and then change the objective half way through never do well.
Communicate, and focus on your objective. If a new opportunity comes in along the way, then make a note of it. This could be something you and your team tackle the next time you head out together. Above all else, stay on target.
Rule 6: Gather intel
Ensuring sure that the crypto-commity is on your side is a huge benefit. Make sure that your intelligence team is working in the market to find out what people really think of your project. If people don’t like it, they will say. Have your intelligence team work and manage people expectations. Talking to customers directly and surveys are a great first step.
Rule 7: Have an exit strategy
Above all else, plan an exit strategy. Make sure everyone gets out. If the project fails, goes wrong, or doesn’t achieve what it is supposed to achieve, you need to make sure that everyone knows what the exit plan is. There can be no plan B here — changing a project half way through can be devastating to its success and often worse than if you just abandon the project. Remember, you can always regroup, rearm, and head back out again for the next mission.
Make sure that when you are undertaking your project, you treat the entire operation with the respect it deserves. All crypto-projects are new, so expect to be surrounded by the enemy (competitors).
Running a crypto-project is like nothing you have ever done before. You will need to step out of your current business mentality and into the mentality of an all out fighting machine. Given the chance, those who approach any crypto-project with the right mentality will have a successful mission.Posted In: Analysis, Guest Post, Opinion