Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Drake IV

As the company opens it is completely unbalanced. There are 4 founders sharing control – Bob, CEO; Dan, VP of R&D; Chet, VP of Manufacturing; and David, VP of Marketing. Bob has 3 staff admin employees (Finance, Administration, and Personnel), Dan has the 15 employees from their other companies, and Chet and David are working alone. This is a purely R&D company right now. Everyone is slaving away to create a product with the VC funding they have received.

What is Chet doing in Mfg? He had better be working with fabricators in China, Taiwan, and Eastern Europe to get the parts for their computers made. He had better NOT be working to establish manufacturing here in the U.S. The rates will kill him. To make these relationships, he needs some help.

What is David doing in marketing? He has been visiting customers and university professors. That is great. But he had better also be working with advertising and PR firms to create a campaign that will introduce the new product to the world. Once the R&D guys have something, it will be time to turn on the machine that builds demand. The advertising and PR are mostly image and power based. They do not need to provide technical specs. They just need to make customers feel that the company has something that they need. The more they can generate this feeling of need, the better the product launch will be.

I wonder how much expertise these guys have at creating a new company. Introducing it to customers and making a presence in the market? Did they come from IBM where the name is known? Or did they have experience with a where they had to fight for attention?


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