Thursday, March 9, 2006

"DevCo" - One month after spin off announcement

This has been an interesting week in the ongoing saga that is “DevCo.”  In many ways things are picking up speed.  We've gotten approval for many budget items, and are still wrestling with others.  The development teams are becoming engaged in some of the early stages of planning and brainstorming.  We're simply going through the process to vet all the various ideas.  Not only are we looking at what each product needs to do in its respective markets, but also looking into what this new company or venture is going to do as a whole.  As hinted at in my previous post, Tod Nielsen was very interested in some of the major growth ideas we had presented.  So much so, that he actually invited the DevCo leadership team to meet with him independent of the board so he could begin to help us refine the ideas into something that is presentable to the investors.

In this week's “board meeting” we went over all the action-items from the previous meeting and to also pour through all the financial models.  The really good thing is that we're getting to the point where we're able to have credible answers to any of the questions we get from the board.  In cases where they were concerned about certain numbers in a particular model, we already had ideas and plans to mitigate those issues.  In many cases those plans simply hadn't been fully fleshed out or just simply were not plugged into the model by the time we had the meeting.

Within the next few weeks, it looks like they're actually going to be bringing in some “coaches” and “test investors” in order for us to sharpen up and refine the pitch we have to make to the real investors.  In the grand scheme of things, it is getting closer.  I mean that point is close enough for us to begin sweating.., but far enough off that by putting in a solid effort, we'll make it.

As hinted at in the first paragraph, I organized a meeting with all the dev teams that will be coming to DevCo for a “brainstorming” kick-off meeting.  We were able to present much of the areas around which we think there could be significant growth.  Everything from modest, yet solid growth, all the way to way out there high yeild, high risk ideas were discussed and presented.  Everything is fair game... the only thing I tried to stress is that it needs to be in keeping with what the DevCo focus is going to be; All about developers.  Once we were able to present these initial ideas merely as a springboard for more, everyone has been given permission to think big and and about the “what.” Do not worry about the “how.”  We'll be getting back together to allow the individual teams to present their ideas.  I'm pretty certain that we'll find that many ideas overlap, along with several new “wow” ideas.

Stay tuned as we continue to roll out more news and status.