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Big Ships and Small Speedboats: How Companies Function and Grow

Executive insights from 1NCE CTO Younes Allaki

Turning a big ship takes time. If a cargo vessel veers off in the wrong direction, bringing it back in line requires a complex sequence of procedures. By contrast, a speedboat glides nimbly atop the waves, able to reverse course all but instantaneously with a single pair of hands on the wheel.

Like watercraft, companies separate into two groups. On the one hand, “big ships” wield substantial influence in their markets because of their large profits and high visibility. Their stability gains them consumer trust. Their history, as well as the depth of talent and capability within their ranks, enables them to deliver to a mass market and grow as organizations. Unfortunately, their sheer size means that they rely on a long, slowly executed set of processes when they make decisions, select customer targets to satisfy, define and refine what they make and how they market it.

“Speedboats”, on the other hand, move fast and nimbly and grow quickly, able to create and act on new ideas without hesitation, switching to more-effective directions as soon as they discover them. Despite the virtues of their nimbleness and agility, however, these startups tend to lack the refined service and delivery processes that distinguish big companies, partially because they have yet to be in existence long enough to develop the necessary resources.

The ideal state for a business includes the best of these polar opposites minus their weaknesses and/or inherent shortcomings. Companies such as 1NCE, that combine big companies’ process stability and high-quality service with the speedboat agility of lean startup enterprises, are much more effective and beneficial to their customers. To that mixture of stability and speed, we at 1NCE also maintain a customer-focused mindset that yields a complete vision of our objectives. What that means is that in every case, our process begins with our customers. Rather than create a product and assume it has a market, 1NCE always asks the fundamental question of customer-centric operations: “What is our customer’s problem and how can we solve it?”

Unlike typical technology-related companies that often begin with features and strive to find a business case that supports them, 1NCE starts with customer expectations and finds the best way to deliver products that match up with those real requirements. Doing so enables 1NCE to avoid the trap of creating a product that its creators love but that fills no compelling need. We concentrate completely on solving customer problems.

We understand the unique challenges of serving a business-to-business market, including our customers’ high standards, their need for stable products and their inability to tolerate constant upgrade cycles. 1NCE has built a reputation as a trusted partner that offers exactly what our customers need: certainty and stability, delivered with an impeccable attention to detail.