Mature Startups

Big Red Car here on another cold, rainy Monday in the ATX.

So, I’m chatting with a seasoned startup CEO, and he asks, “What is the first sign that a startup is bursting through the crawl, walk, run continuum, Big Red Car? What are the things you look for?”

Says I, “When they start their own training program, conduct offsites regularly, and have an industry leading conference as part of their marketing program.”

To which he says, “Do tell, Big Red Car. What does that mean? The industry leading conference part?”

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Industry leading conferences

When a company develops a bit of market share, they will be in a position to offer an opinion that the market writ large will want to hear about.

Starts by attending industry confabs and providing speakers, but it hits full stride when the company begins to sponsor its own events and thereby take an industry leadership position.

These events can be simple at first and become more elaborate as they build on success.

A simple event is like the one pictured above. Room at the company HQ, a few invites, a presentation, bit of networking, free Dr Pepper, some business card collection, and on to the next one. Local. Very local.

An elaborate event is 1,000 invitees at a conference location like San Diego or San Antonio (see what we did there with the “Sans”?), a guest speaker like Colin Powell for the draw, a social schedule for bonding/networking (bit of golf or a ride on the San Antonio Riverwalk), and a couple of days [a couple of tax deductible days, y’all — haha, why not?] of education, touting the company and its products by the Greek chorus. Bit broader audience. Who doesn’t want to go to San Diego in February? Talking to you, New York and Toronto.

Bottom line it, Big Red Car

Not much more to it other than as a company becomes mature, they will use such events to broadcast to the marketplace who they are, what they do, and that they are open for more business.

It is the mark of a mature startup — a company for which the descriptor “startup” will soon be a thing of the past.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car, y’all and it’s a rainy Monday in the ATX.