All companies need to be ACE
Ace is a word usually heard in the context of a tennis match, perhaps when Murray has blasted a service past an overwhelmed opponent at +140mph.
At DropJaw, we have a different use for the word. We believe the best companies within our invested or client portfolio are ACE.
So what makes a company ACE? For us, ACE companies are:
AGILE. Companies need to be agile to react to dynamic market shifts and trends and also be agile enough to address their client’s diverse and demanding requirements. Agility is one of the key drivers of innovation and therefore needs to be at the heart of all you do.
Great examples of an agile business are:
- Microsoft, with the market entry of Office 365. Microsoft turned their office model on its head with their delivery and charging options. Lowering the cost of entry and building a long term recurring revenue model allows Office 365 to hit the $1b sales figure quicker than any other Microsoft product in history.
- ITS Technology Group, who now offer a full end-to-end user experience from designing, delivering and supporting high speed network infrastructure and offering a range of IT Managed services, VOIP and cloud solutions. This approach mitigates risk and complexity whilst allowing the company to enjoy three consecutive years of +200% growth.
CREATIVE. Creativity isn’t just about the arts. Great companies have to be creative both technically and commercially, which is vital to creating a sustainable and competitive advantage.
- Apple are one of the most creative companies in the world, with sleek engineering and a great commercial model which keeps you hooked on their upgrades and new releases. The chain reaction then causes a feeding frenzy and the addictive need to load up your Apple device through their AppStore.
- Nokia have suffered from a lack of creativity and the all-important agility previously discussed. Falling from a position of market leader to 4th place in five tough years resulted in a fire sale to Microsoft. A classic example of a lack of creativity and agility which is vital for a company wanting to be a serious player in the mobile market.
ENTREPRENEURIAL. Great companies have entrepreneurial DNA running all the way through the company, and at DropJaw we don’t believe this is restricted to the CEO; the entire organisation has to be entrepreneurial.
Often, the best ones come from within your own organisation, so listen to your team members and ensure you create a culture and forum to promote fresh ideas. Find ways to incentivise your staff to come up with ideas, such as a percentage of revenue from new products and services, a percentage of savings by re-engineering a current process to increase efficiency, time off or even a simple “thank you, and well done” can often have a huge positive impact.
- Google have a great approach to fresh ideas by allowing their staff to work on their own projects and ideas for up to six hours per week. Of course, Google will want their slice of the IP if anything of interest and value is created on their time.
- The Wedding Vine drives entrepreneurialism by working in partnership with specialists. Following a management buyout/ buy in, The Wedding Vine is working closely with their new digital agency partners, Elephant Digital to deliver new features, site functionality and a range of recurring and one-off revenue streams.
At DropJaw we have many ACE companies within our portfolio. If you want to learn more, drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org