As all things change and new opportunities arise. I have left Hyper9 and am now pursing consulting opportunities until I’m able to get my new startup off the ground (yes, I have something in mind). I could spend a lot of time explaining why I left, but I think this is better said by someone else. Steve Blank is the author of an excellent book “Four Steps to the Epiphany”, below is a description of phases of a company and what entails each based on a startup talk that Steve did. Hyper9 I believe is now firmly into the third phase and as for me, I’m into my new phase zero (as I being again). Here is Steve’s excellent description:
Phase One – Search – The one and only mission of the company in its early life is to search for a scalable business model. Nothing else matters. Small team, little to no management, very little of the formal trappings of a company. Staying lean, nimble, and chaotic is how you search rapidly. Formality and structure only slow you down.
Phase Two – Build – Once the business model is found (in technology, this usually comes in the form of a software product that people love and have demonstrated willingness to pay for) the company starts to build out. Here the team is expanding, infrastructure is being put in place, branding and market position clarified. The organization goes from feeling like a ragtag band of buddies working on something made out of passion and elbow grease, and to something that feels like a “real” company.
Phase Three – Growth – Everything is figured out, the company’s direction is decided: it’s now a matter of turning up the volume and continuing the business model on increasingly large scales. This is generally where the founders and many of the early employees of the company will make an exit. There are examples of founders who have stayed on through the final phase: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison. But these guys are the exception, not the rule (and that’s part of what they are famous). Founders need to be aware of, and prepared for, the likelihood that success means they have made themselves irrelevant in the organization they have built.
The new release of Hyper9 which was just released (VEO 2.5) looks great and shows a great deal of promise. I can’t wait to see what is coming in 3.0!
As for myself being made irrelevant, luckily this isn’t the case for me. I’m relevant, but even more so as an outsider. By no longer being inside of the company, I have the advantage of the objective (at least more objective than before) observer. This also explains my role of a Trusted Advisor with the company. I now get to add value in an entirely new way than before and get to focus on what I do best. I’m open to consulting until my next venture gets off the ground. Here are my relevant links for convenience: