Decisions! Decisions!

In 2015 we were struggling with a hard decision at EveryMove.  There were four of us in a conference room, my co-founder and two relatively new senior people that had joined the Company.  We were struggling with the question of whether we were a B2C (Business-to-Consumer) or a B2B (Business-to-Business) company.  It sounds like an obvious question but we had consumers that engaged with our application but businesses could pay us to provide premium value to their employees (employee wellness).  So in a world of limited resources do we build for the consumer or do we build to satisfy the needs of the business paying us?  I labored about this decision.  On one hand, unless our consumer experience was effective at engaging people we wouldn't really have anything to sell to employers.  On the other hand, I recognized that improving the consumer experience was the long term journey and unless we could get some businesses actually paying us early on we wouldn't have any business at all.  

The most unfortunate circumstance was that we launched the product in 2013 and we were still having this conversation two years later.  Venture capital allows a lot of tough decision making to get kicked down the curb because capital can cover ambiguity.  But at a particular point, hard decisions (based on learning) need to be made and now was the time.

We weighed the pros and cons, evaluated and re-evaluated and then made the decision.  We were a B2B business.  That was it.  We had to decide.  Businesses paid us.  They were our customer.  The consumer (who didn't pay us) was effectively the product.   I didn't realize what a monumental decision this would be.  It resulted in us laying off 30% of our staff.  My business partner and I separated.  We started building a new application to focus squarely on the B2B market. 

Whether or not this was the right decision is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that I committed and once I committed I could move forward.  Failure to commit is failure to advance.  Commitment liberated me to lead with conviction to where our business was going vs. living in limbo. 

I wish I had faced the hard decision sooner.   I knew people wanted a decision, any decision, that would free them to execute.  It is amazing how indecision created a purgatory for a company and a team.  We often believe that creating available "options" will allow a company to have more opportunity, when in fact, have "options" is just another word for indecision.  

Make a decision and commit.  What is a decision that you committed to when faced with two very worthwhile alternatives?

Russell BenaroyaComment