Wednesday, January 22, 2014

An HR Entrepreneur in the Navy

When I was a kid my dad told me being in the Navy was all about hurry-up-and-wait. As he explained it you were always supposed to quickly move from one place to the next, but once you got there you typically had to stand around and wait. Hurry-up-and-wait.

As an entrepreneur in HR (probably not unique to HR) I feel like this sometimes. Everything we do is urgent, but when we get there, we typically have to wait. Wait on software development, wait on investor funds, wait on sales prospects, and wait on customers.

Our product Referral Link was over a year in the making and finally went live in November. I felt like a Formula 1 race car sitting at the starting line ready to roar into high gear. 0 to 180 MPH in practically no time. We are ready to win the race.

Thing is, products that break old boundaries and introduce new ways to do things are rarely a race. Maybe a marathon, but never a sprint. Good ideas take time to take hold.

We have started to introduce the Referral Link product to the market place. Like any company full of more smarts than cash, we are following a Lean Start Up model. We are well beyond the MVP, but we are well into Lean Marketing. No Super Bowl ads for us. (Although I do think Jennifer Lawrence would be the perfect person to endorse our product at halftime – fiery and fierce, yet innovative…yes we do have an inflated image of ourselves). Instead though, we are slowly bringing the product to market by introducing it to certain targeted customer groups. We are getting a feel for how customers respond to the product, how the product performs and where the product best fits in the value chain.

So I guess taking over the world with our new innovation in recruiting is going to have to wait. In the meantime, I need to hurry up and get some things done. World domination takes preparation.