Starting Something New Versus Growing What You Have

“Any time is a good time to start a company.” — CLICKTOTWEET

The past 10 years I have always balanced my need to create a new company with the need to grow my current company. I have experienced this balancing act as a tough one. As most entrepreneurs know, as all experts on new ventures know, focus is key — which drives the business forward. You need to concentrate your (creative) energy on one business in order for that business to grow. If you spread your attention, none of them has a chance to become big. I have always taken this advice to heart. But my entrepreneurial brain spots opportunities all the time and they’re tough to resist. Over the years, I have sometimes stepped into the trap of starting something new against all odds. And in all cases, I decided after a couple of weeks or months to pull the plug.

Today, I have a different rationale. I have sought an idea that is aligned with the mission of my existing company, but still feels as a startup.

The past 10 years I have built a service business; we build software with dedicated teams in our offices in Ukraine and India, for software product firms and IT departments. It’s a great business to be in and today we have 70 people and all works out very well. But from an entrepreneurial point of view it has 2 challenges:

a. It’s not very scalable

b. We operate in a highly competitive market.

The funny thing is that I never thought about a and b when I started Bridge 10 years back. I just thought this was the perfect opportunity, aligned with my own values and background and I dove in. The scalability issue is that for each contract, you need to hire people. People are unpredictable, can leave, can make mistakes. Being in a competitive market: customers stand on the podium of a big stadium with 100s of software providers from all over the world. Whom do they pick? It’s hard to stand out from among 100s of others.

Now my new venture Ekipa solves both problems. We will generate income from a combination of provider listing fees, a success fee or % and add on services (sales rep for the provider, second opinions, technical support, mediation, payment gateway and more). The more buyers we attract, the bigger the revenues will become, without having to hire 100s of people. The competition challenge is also less. Today, there is no platform that does exactly what we do. The ones that exist focus mainly on freelancers. Some focus on providers (and call them ‘teams’), but gives access to vetted, specialized teams inside companies. Ekipa tells customers whom to choose among the 100s in the stadium.

As an entrepreneur, I leverage the experience and network I built in the past years. I can still run my current company (Bridge is one of the providers on Ekipa). And I can work on a new challenge, which gives me entrepreneurial energy. Time will tell if this combination works and whether I have solved my mental balancing act between starting something new versus growing what I have.

Background on Ekipa

Image source: TheNextWeb

Many companies outsource their software development to other companies. After decades of experience, it is still a challenge to get your software ideas implemented as you envision. changes this all.

With over 10 years experience, we know that 2 factors determine success in outsourcing

1. The right team
2. The right collaboration

Ekipa matches projects with the world’s elite software teams. The match is done on experience with the solution, the industry and/or the technology. The teams are all employed by providers and work collocated. All providers are vetted by Ekipa and soon by the Ekipa review system.

The platform is facilitated with services: one of our colleagues will do an intake to go through the requirements. Based on the project requirements, a team is selected. The team can be local or remote. Depending on the project, we can engage a local project manager, architect or designer. Payments go through our escrow account. We also assign an Ekipa process manager, who’s responsible for smooth communication between the client and the team.

Gone are the days searching the internet for the right provider. No more RFI’s and RFP’s. One platform where you can find teams that have proven themselves.

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