Creating ‘LOVE MOMENTS’ on your Growth Journey

February 14th, 2017

I happened to be in San Francisco for client meetings last week when I learned that SaaStr, the largest SaaS conference, was in town. Technology people from all over the world attended to get insight about scaling their SaaS businesses and networking.

Although I would have liked to spend more time there, I was able to squeeze in a few sessions and meet with some other founders. I took so much away from my time at the event, but the idea that really stood out was about creating LOVE MOMENTS.

The journey to building something important is hard! There is no easy way to be successful – even for innovative serial entrepreneurs. Each journey is filled with new challenges to be overcome, but those challenges can not be the focus. Teams need to focus on creating LOVE MOMENTS with all of the stakeholders in their ecosystem.

The words HAPPY and HAPPINESS were everywhere at SaaStr. To become a market leader, people should feel happy about your company and product. Better yet, they should LOVE the solution you offer.

What is the LOVE MOMENT for your customers? For tealbook, it is when a customer starts a VET (tealbook’s search engine) and they receive instant trusted supplier recommendations. It would have taken them days or weeks to gather the same data using a traditional approach, yet with tealbook it happens instantly. The next LOVE MOMENT is when customers receive affirmative responses from suppliers that believe they are a good potential fit and interested in being considered for an RFP.

For suppliers, the LOVE MOMENT is when they receive a notification from a client looking for their specific offerings and responding ACCEPT because they agree that they are a good fit and want to be included in the process. Not only have they found a new potential opportunity, they know that they are a good fit before having to invest significant time and effort responding to an RFP.

Understanding your market and how your product impacts your customers’ life is absolutely critical to success. The product will change and evolve but if there is no market fit… you will have no chance. For tealbook, I saw the need for some love over many years and across the hundreds of companies I consulted for. Even though they had sophisticated procurement and sourcing tools, they did not have an easy way to access and share information about their existing suppliers across different teams in the organization. It required them to spend tactical time piecing together information from different sources to identify a qualified list of existing and prospective suppliers. There was an opportunity, no competition, and a market ready to increase speed and scale by adopting intuitive technology.

Even internal teams need to have LOVE MOMENTS, although it usually means something quite different. Successful companies have made plenty of mistakes, and each mistake can be traced back to someone internally. People are only human, after all. Allow your team to make mistakes too. It is hard, but you will all learn and be better for it. If you don’t mess up, it probably means that you are not pushing the boundaries. You are keeping your team from achieving something extraordinary. Be up front about mistakes, find a way to create a productive LOVE MOMENT, then learn and move forward.

A healthy growth attitude starts with founders and pulls in employees, customers, and investors. Focus on those LOVE MOMENTS and watch your success spread!

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