One of the things that has allowed Seedcamp to scale from a few startups in our early years to over 250+ companies today is an understanding of what elements of our operations need to sit in the RPP stack (what I’m calling it).
The RPP stack, in short, is:
Relationships — This includes how you engage with not only your customers, but also your employees.
Process — This is born out of relationships, meaning you need to understand the scope of relationships, where things can fall through the cracks if not structured, and where things can only scale across new teams members joining, if not adequately structured.
Product — This is born out of the combination of Relationships and Process as it serves either your customers or your employees. Yes, you can have products for internal use as well as for external commercial gain. In theory, many businesses could operate within Relationships and Process alone, but are only truly capable of scaling once they take some of those and convert them into a Product that leverages both Relationships and Process. Naturally, there are some businesses, where the Product is front and center as the start of the company, but let’s face it, it’s just a manifestation of Relationship and Process at the end of the day, it’s just that the process is not really affordable to do without the Product from the onset.
Questions for reflection —
Where is your company in understanding which relationships could benefit from process to increase the quality of that relationship across a larger group of team members?
Does your company have processes that would be better suited in converting into a product to allow you to scale faster?
Does your product accurately represent the trust dynamic between your relationships and the processes they need?
Do your relationships suffer because the quality of your interaction suffers between interactions due to the lack of support from a process and/or product?
This week and last week, we’ve had two amazing interviews focusing on aspects of a startup’s operations that are critical for its success: How to price a product and how to create trust online around your product or service. You can’t have one without the other….
I had a chance to sit down with Patrick from www.priceintelligently.com and we walked through some case studies of companies iterating on how they price their products and services. It was great to hear how he approached understanding the customer before really getting to the pricing part.
But pricing is only part of the equation, without consumer trust, no matter how cheap or expensive the product is, it’s nearly impossible to sell. So on that note, the founders of Onfido and online-watch-retailer Chronext joined me to talk about how they built their customer trust online.
With venture investments in AI expected to hit a 300% rise in 2017, and with AI systems playing Atari way better than I ever did, it is no surprise that now is the time to bring to surface discussions like the ethics around AI systems, the impact that AI will have on our labor force, and which areas of AI will receive the most investment in the near future.
As part of the AIBE Summit which took place in the QEII conference center on the 4th of Feb, 2017, I was asked to talk a little about VC investment in the sector. Below are my slides and accompanying audio file of the talk. I hope you enjoy it and please feel free to leave any feedback.
More on the AIBE Summit from their website:
The AIBE Summit is a conference on artificial intelligence in business & entrepreneurship. It will be the largest event of its kind ever to be held, with a capacity of up to 800 participants. Our mission is to increase public understanding and intellectual discussion on the implications of AI for the business world, to raise the technological literacy of students, entrepreneurs, and professionals alike, and to recognise London as one of the world’s major digital capitals for the future of AI. It is an initiative pioneered by the LSE Entrepreneurs Society, driven to celebrate the newly formed Partnership on AI between Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft.
Over the past year or so, we’ve had the chance to sit down with over one hundred amazing founders, investors and experts to chat about all aspects of startup life. Ranging from the earliest of days in a company’s journey to scaling up and eventually exiting their companies, we’ve explored and been fortunate to share the journey of what many of our friends know through their experience.
When I started the podcast, the idea was to get behind the person’s achievements and to really understand how their early struggles helped get them the experience they were sharing. The theory is, that by understanding someone’s struggles, you can understand their achievements and learnings… and to this end, we feel we’ve achieved what we set out to do.
As with all projects, however, evolution is necessary. Having learned from our interviews to date, we are committed to finding amazing and knowledgeable people who can share what they know with us so we can learn collectively. We will also increasingly dive into discussions around functional topics and sectors to provide listeners with a deep-dive into hot topics from leading voices in the field.
Over the past year, we’ve also been creating curated playlists for those of you who want to learn more about a specific topic as well as for those of you who want to just better understand functional roles (such as sales or marketing or product development) and the role they can play in your business.
As part of this evolution, I’m happy to embrace the title of our new podcast — ‘This much I know’ — where we look forward to sharing the inside story from founders, investors and leading tech voices; the people who’ve built businesses, scaled globally, failed fantastically and learnt massively. This Much I know summarizes not just what our guests share but hopefully what collectively, as a community, we can provide to further our own knowledge from those who’ve been there, done that and, most importantly, survived to tell the tale.
We look forward to bringing you even more content in 2017 and, as ever, we’d love to hear your feedback. So, if there’s a topic area you’d like us to explore, a founder story you’re keen to discover or a personal story you’d love to share, please get in touch… and now onto who our first guest of the year was!
Big data, argues Kenneth Cukier, senior editor for data and digital at The Economist, is epoch defining: the ability for humans to store and transmit information at a scale previously inconceivable will transform ‘how we work, live and think’ — much as fire, bronze and the paper press revolutionized earlier societies. But how should we respond to the economic dislocation AI will produce in conjunction with big data?
Kenneth’s career in journalism is a distinguished one. The co-author of the New York Times Best Seller “Big Data” (2013) he manages new digital product development and oversees data analytics for The Economist. Prior to this, Kenneth served as technology editor of the Wall Street Journal Asia and also worked at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. In 2002–04 he was a research fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
During our chat, Kenneth shared that information has gone from ‘a stock to flow’. Instead of being stored in fixed media — such as clay discs 4,000 years ago — data is now liquid and dynamic. The application of machine learning techniques and algorithms to such data lets us do things once impossible, such as build self-driving cars or diagnose diseases at a far earlier stage. But, he cautions, ‘it is the mark of an unwise society’ and close to criminal that we are not properly sharing data in spheres such as healthcare.
Take a Listen to understand how we can learn from the information we collect, what change needs to materialize before we feel AI’s effect in proper, and how to respond to the job displacement that AI will bring about.