COVID-19 Widening the Chasm

Geoffrey A. Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm starts out by saying “If Bill Gates can be a Billionaire”.  Implying that so can you.  I remember in high school using similar logic while waiting to take my driving test, saying to myself, “if Wayne can pass the driving test, then so can I”.

For those of us who don’t remember, Crossing the Chasm takes us through stages of marketing and selling our business & products.  The book then points out the phenomena called “The Chasm”, and why businesses fail as they fall into this crevasse instead of crossing over it. COVID-19 has dramatically widened the chasm and small business owners see it as an impossible task to cross.  Forbes Magazine reported that more than ½ black owned business have permanently closed because of the pandemic.  The Federal Reserve Bank of New York released a report that said black-owned businesses were more than twice as likely to close than other businesses.    So, if you own a small business, what should we be doing?  Here is my opinion on what we should be thinking about. 

I started my first business back in 1992.  I was already working full-time as a software engineer so I guess that you can say this was my “side hustle”.   But it was much more than that.  The business model aimed at providing IT support for small businesses who cannot afford to have their own IT team.  But I quickly learned about “cross-selling” & “up-selling”, “channels” & “partnerships”.  Cross-selling and up-selling are textbook, so I won’t cover that here.  But channels & relationships are essential to growing your business organically.  All too often we forget that business and relationships go hand-in-hand.  And these relationships will open up other channels of revenue streams for you. 

Here is the framework I suggest that you follow.  Make a list of any and everyone associated with your business.  Create a category of “Know”, “Like”, Trust”.  Then label your relationship with these categories.   Consider this a living document that you visit and update regularly.  Deliberately and systematically communicate with everyone on this list 1:1. What you will find is that relationships that you have labeled as “Trust” will be your saving grace.    These are the folks that will stretch out their hands and pull you across “The Chasm!

Why STEM Matters

Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM) Impact on Jobs

June 25, 2018 – SpringBoard Team

Since the information technology (IT) boom in the 1990’s IT workers more than doubled between 1990 and 2000. The chart below from the U.S. Census shows the growth since 1970 and the diversity of jobs that are available to IT professionals.

From the chart above we can see that many different skill sets and job functions have been created from 1970 to 2014. The chart shows 3 categories in 1970 and 14 different categories in 2014. The industry has continued to grow and evolve from 2015 to 2018 and Big Data problems have given birth to a new set of job skills: Data Scientists, and Cloud Architects. Some of the key skills that Data Scientists possess include Python Programming, Statistical Analysis and Machine Learning.

STEM Impact on Salaries

As the information technology industry continues to evolve into 2020, new skill sets will be required to meet the demands of this expansion. Information Technology continues to be one of the highest paying professions in the U.S. The information provided by the United State Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the potential earnings for computer and information technology professionals by industry.

Industry Employment Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage
Computer Systems Design and Related Services

79,100

4.01 $73.80 $153,510
Management of Companies & Enterprises 36,540 1.59 $71.24 $148,180
Management, Scientific, and Technical Consulting

Services

15,160 1.14 $72.65 $151,110
Insurance Carriers 12,300 1.05 $70.88 $147,430
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 11,600 0.39 $54.65 $113,660

Where do Good Ideas Come From?

What is SpringBoard?  SpringBoard provides Technology Training & STEM Workshops for Youth and Adults.  We are also a Co-Working and Virtual Offices Spaces for startup companies as a way to reduce the overhead cost associated with creating a new business. We provide a modern facility with comfortable working stations and collaborative areas for team or customer meetings.   That is our core business.

SpringBoard is unique to other incubators because we also provide value add workshops that guides and teaches our SpringBoard startups’ a lean approach to creating and running a startup company.  Our approach puts the emphasis on creating value.  We will teach our entrepreneurs how to create and deliver that value at the point of use.  Where it is most needed.

The programming, events and workshops you can expect from SpringBoard will be focused on active building instead of passive lecturing.   We will emphasize creating prototypes and bring it to market over less agile or motionless models.

Why is our method better?  First starts with the understanding that we are living it the most ubiquitous era of Technology at any time in previous years.  It is pervasive, and omnipresent.   And the rate of change continues to accelerate to the point of surpassing Moore’s Law.  Therefore, if we are not capturing the power behind technology and using it as a vehicle to drive our business we will quickly become irrelevant.   Let’s be clear, consuming technology and leveraging technology are two different things.  It is part of a larger concept called Digital Transformation. You can think of Digital Transformation a profound and accelerating change of business activities, processes and business models for an organization.   Think of it as a systematic method that will new revenue streams globally.  Transformation

To summarize, SpringBoard is the answer to the questions: Where do good ideas come from?