Size Up Competing Companies While You Sleep
“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” -Gekko
This week on the VAScripts series, I include a particularly valuable document that I use regularly when I find companies that are interesting, have reached out to partner with us, or are potential competitors.
The report pulls together many things I generally need to know about the company to assess how serious(or dangerous) they are. It should take about 15-20 minutes (or less) for a VA to complete and can drastically affect your strategy. Best of all, its 2 sentences and takes you about 30sec to write. The core pieces include:
- How old is the company —shows maturity, older companies usually have long standing relationships that may be hard(or easy) to change
- Who is involved (the principals as well as investors) —shows the experience of the company leadership
- How much press they are getting —shows their market leadership
- How much capital they have raised —more or less shows the “size of the army” that we are up against
About 4 months ago, I started having my VA roll these reports up into a google spreadsheet so that it is easy to reference. The instructions for that rollup isn’t included in this post, but if you use your imagination you should be able to come up with something.
I recently have come across a company called Kiip, can you please put together a company intel report on the company for me? The report requirements and instructions are located in the below doc.
Virtual Assistant Scripts Series (VAScripts)
I have lately been obsessed with utilizing Virtual Assistant. Trying all of the major players at one point or another, I have learned much about breaking down complex projects into smaller manageable tasks. The improvement that I have seen from my ability to delegate effectively as a result of this obsession have been very drastic. Now I think about how to effectively put together teams to accomplish a task rather than the task its self. This allows me to scale my impact.
I strongly encourage any managers or would be managers to invest in a VA service and use it heavily for 6 months to help build your delegation skills.
Durring my exploration, I have written many emails that I use more than once — completely DRY. Stealing from the computer work, I have begun to call these emails “scripts” and have amassed dozens of them that I utilize to help offload tasks.
After pressure from many friends I have decided to make some of these “Scripts” public by posting them under the tag #VAScripts here on my blog. I will try to post a couple of them a week.
I start off with a recent script that I utilized to put together a list of answering services that I thought I could use for http://pingback.cc.
Pingback is a service that I am building via managing +80% of outside labor. Although I know that I could code the service by hand much quicker, I am looking for ways to scale my impact by removing myself as an independent contributor. More on this project later.
ON to the scripts!
I am working on a product and I think that placing a phone number on the page will generate more interest. As such, I am looking for a super cheap answering service that will field inbound calls and email me with the messages they recieve. Can you please pull together a list of 10 options and include their price as well as the other information outlined on the below spreadsheet. Quora would be a good place to start for this.
Nothing like a #warbird spotting on a Saturday. Will people be flying around F16’s in 50 years? #aviation #pilot #avgeek #yak
What will I see tomorrow?
Over the last 365 days, many drastic changes have occurred inside of me. Most of these things are perception based. Ordinary things transformed as the way that I see them transformed. My girlfriend became my fiance, Amazon became a web service, etc.
One seemingly inconsequential change is the way that I see the sky. In Mid September, I finally completed my Pilot training and was accepted into a brotherhood that only 3% of the US population belongs to.
On that day the way I see the blue above forever changed. Now the sky is an opportunity. It’s a friend who I have just begun to intimately know. Its moods, its bumps, its beauty are all things that I have come to love. It is hard to truly understand what it feels like to drop the flaps on final and feel the sky through the flight controls but once you have felt it, something inside of you changes. When it happens, you become no longer a creature of the earth, you become a creature of the sky. Someone who yearns and dreams of flight.
My question: If the way that I saw the sky changed this year, what will change for me next year?