Since I started to grow my company, I became less focus on sharing it, having much more things to work on. And I have to say that it was a mistake. Sharing goals and how we dealt with them, are one of the best ways to be objective on our work and to get a bit of external support from our network.
Note: you can find back everything I shared so far on my personal blog: https://outoftech.com/growth-records/
And more specifically for 2020 goals: https://outoftech.com/2020-plan/
2019 theme: Refining the most effective way to coach non-technical founders
What we wanted to happened in 2020 :
Grow our webmarketing presence.
Grow our company, the team. We started with 5 people.
Build our first product, the adaptive coaching platform
Not shared: Expected to get additional fundings. Nothing came at the last minute. how we dealt with this…
and here is what really happened:
- We did grow, but not as much as we wanted
Google Analytics: ( website trafic: )
We built a web marketing team, but didn’t meet the expectations … Delegating was harder than expected for 2 reasons:
- High level of expertise
- Working with junior profiles was quite time-consuming
Not getting funding by the end of 2020 led us to innovate and opened to a new opportunity for our web marketing organisation:
Because we didn’t get any fundings, we had to reduce the web marketing team. Instead, we industrialised and automate our content production process. starting to produce :
- 2 startup snack a week in both French & English thanks to Mitchie – Also available in Podcast, thanks to automation
- I created a Daily personal podcast + video ( A mile in a cto’s shoes / Dans la tete d’un CTO ). The goal of this new show is to be the real CTO friend, without any filter in a face cam mode.
Our goal is for now on, to keep that process adding just some summary of video content on our website for SEO purpose.
Conclusion for the webmarketing:
Delegation is hard when we are not expert in a specific area. Instead of delegating recurring tasks, it’s much better to automate what can be automated.
Growing the company
We did grow in January 2020, we also hired Hugo a software developer during 6 months in addition to our additional freelance CTO Sebastien to develop our coaching center. But we were not able to keep them because of the financial constraints.
So we started at 5, grew to 6 and we end at only 3 at the end of 2020. The good thing is that we are almost able to achieve the same things at 3 than what we were at 6. Of course, the development of our coaching centre is not as fast as we would like to, but it’s working.
Positive thing things is that most of recurring tasks are now automated, saving at least 1 – 2 salary.
Coaching centre project
It was really the focus of this year, creating our SaaS Solution for the non-technical founders. We have a first beta version that we open to few clients only. We really love the way we structured our coaching centre with an adaptive e-coaching approach. There is still lots of new features to develop and lots of content to add, but we are moving slowly & surely toward our goal.
We are proud of what we created, We like to aim high and we wanted to achieve more, but patience is part of the entrepreneurship life.
How we dealt with the financial challenge:
One day, someone told me, your best investor possible are your clients. When we understood that we would not raise funds, we reopened CTO consulting slots and onboarded new clients with direct 1-on-1 coaching with me. That enabled us to increase by more the 2 the revenues we were aiming with our SaaS platform.
Building a Saas platform takes time, it’s all a matter of transitioning between human Services and Software as Services. One of the lessons we’ve learned this year is that we almost stopped 1-on-1 consulting to focus on our Saas Platform but the shift was too fast without the amount of funding we were expecting.
From now on, we will keep moving forward with that shift, but slowly…
Conclusion of this year
We had everything this year, a bit of funding, a team a proven business model, but we went too fast having to high burn rate and not getting the complementary funding we were expecting stopped our growth by the end of the year. We then shift to a more conservative and slow growth mode where we focus on running the business more than investing in the product side of our project. But the SaaS platform MyCTOfriend is still there, it’s used by our coaching clients and we should open it to the world during 2021. But we are not taking the risk to announce any date as it will depend on how fast our business grow.