Manage what you can Control

Manage what you can Control

Because Vico is a venture-funded company, I spend a good deal of time interacting with venture capitalists including our current investors and many others. And I make it a point to listen to the buzz du jour in the VC community.

During the second week of October, while the country’s financial crisis was monopolizing headlines, Sequoia Capital, a large and prestigious VC firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, called a mandatory meeting of CEO’s from their portfolio companies. Within hours the content of that meeting was buzzing around the internet like pics of Brittany’s shaved head. The now-infamous Sequoia meeting delivered an urgent message aptly summarized by one of the many Powerpoint slides (all of which are now posted on at least three different internet sites): Get Real or Go Home.

Their point being… (a) The financial crisis is a deep and meaningful one, and (b) no one is sure where the bottom is, and (c) the correction will be a long multi-year process, not a V-shaped recovery, so (d) companies must act decisively to ensure their survival. Further, they predict many companies will under-react and do so in pitifully insufficient cycles that amount to a pre-ordained death spiral. Wow, and I had thought Jim Cramer’s words were gloomy that week!

In the days to follow dozens of venture investors and financial guru’s, all of whom have forgotten more about derivatives and high yield spreads than I’ll ever know, weighed in on the Sequoia message. It was Kubler-Ross’ five stages of grief right there on the internet: Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Depression – and Acceptance. I think the “Bargaining” was most entertaining… and it’s at this stage that most seem stuck today.

So why the Sequoia backstory? With so much attention paid to the financial crisis, and specifically the impact it will have on the Construction industry, I wanted to cite one slide in their deck that struck me with keen relevance to my customer’s business as well as my own. It read simply:

* Manage what you can Control
* Focus on Quality
* Lower Risk
* Reduce Debt

I think of those four points in the context of the progressive, proactive builders out there who saw lean times coming and invested in a strategy to differentiate themselves. There is a strikingly un-gloomy picture here for those firms. Owners are learning the benefits of BIM and seeking out expert firms. Project teams are exploiting BIM’s advantages at more than just the design/documentation stage. Alternate delivery systems are on the rise and so very well aligned with BIM, collaboration, and broadly shared responsibility. Place these trends in a tightening construction economy, and what you have is an environment where the differentiated builders win, and the pack loses. Technology is not the only answer to differentiation, but….man, is it ever a good one right now. A well executed BIM strategy for builders translates into the same actions Sequoia is urging its technology CEO’s to take. Manage what you can Control. Improve Quality. And Lower Risk. (Sorry. BIM can’t help you with the “Debt” part… at least not directly).

ref : http://www.vicosoftware


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