So, You Raised A Couple Million. Now What?

Over the last 12 months I helped 9 companies raise over $50M dollars for some awesome projects. These projects raised money through the innovative crowdfunding processes known as an ICO (Initial Coin Offering). In 2017 alone, over $6B dollars was raised through ICOs. In 2018, over $4.5 B has been raised.

These companies are at various stages of development. Yet, I see a concerning trend emerging. Many of the roadmaps for these companies are being extended, revised, thrown out completely and in some cases, totally dissolved. Why is this?

Right now, the ICO and blockchain space, in general, is filled with visionaries that have deep understandings of technical systems. Many of these visionaries and innovators are cryptographic and software engineering geniuses. That being said, knowing how to envision the outcome and draw the blueprints is only half the equation. Implementing the vision is a whole other ballgame.

As I look at my clients in from both blockchain and legacy industries, the one thing that separates the successful from the less comes down to one mundane factor. The projects with teams that collaborate effectively race ahead, beat deadlines, smoothly pivot, are resilient in the face of volatility. They engage customers in innovative ways, develop strong partnerships, retain vendors and craft strong brands in crowded marketplaces.


The “How” of Mobilizing Individuals to Move Fast in the Same Direction

The singular factor that separates these successful post-ICO projects from the pack is how the team works. It is not vision, hype, marketing or past successes. Aligned teams that focus as much on how work gets done as what work gets done are kicking ass. Tending to how the team works is fundamental to evolving past “start-up” and into a sustainable, profitable enterprise.

Unfortunately, this is the unsexy part of business operations, and this area often gets ignored.

Here are some vital questions I help my clients answer with their teams to get them moving fast, in the same direction:

  • How will decisions be made? How will we set all our priorities?

  • How will we share information?

  • How will we hire? How will we fire? How will we divide and share the workload?

  • How will we give and receive feedback?

  • How will we communicate to our stakeholders?

  • How will we resolve disagreements?

  • How will we evaluate our individual and collective efforts?

The above questions, while seemingly obvious, are critical for teams of all shapes and sizes to be clear on. If clarity is lacking as to “how work gets done,” frustrations mount, finger pointing emerges, silos are built and other toxic behaviors begin showing up.

If you are racing to get your project delivered or product developed, heed these words: slow down to speed up. Take the time and talk about how work will get down, not just what needs to get done and why. The sooner these conversations happen, the faster you will be able to launch, and the healthier your organization will grow.