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Matt Kurleto - Opportunities vs Strategy


Matt Kurleto

April 17 · Issue #5 · View online
I'm sharing my lessons learned, updates from projects I'm involved in and insights on a global startup ecosystem. I'm a serial entrepreneur, the founder of Neoteric, one of the fastest-growing software companies in the CEE region. My current focus is Startup Hansa, the idea of integrating major business and technology hubs into a sustainable startup ecosystem. I'm always happy to hear from you!

Having management team in place I had more time to work on our organizational culture and strategy for the group.
In this issue, you’ll read:
What I’ve learned spending 1h with each team member from COO to interns and candidates.
How we approached building our strategy.
What 3 books I find essential to get the leadership mindset.

What Neoteric organisational culture means to you?
That was the main question I had to each person at the company this quarter. It was a great starting point to discuss
 - what makes us different?
 - what makes Neoteric a great place to work?
 - what we should keep doing?
 - what we should stop doing?
 - what we should start doing?
What I learned from those meetings is more than I could expect. Although we all love celebrating everyone’s birthday with cake and signing, sharing successes over a meal on Friday and me being a Santa Claus for Neoteric kids - this is not what makes us great.
It’s all about the balance between freedom and responsibility. Between “inappropriate jokes” and respect. Between having fun and being professional.
What we appreciate - I say we, because I get the same credit of trust from my team - is that we agree what we want to achieve but are free to choose how to get there. It goes all across the organization from the board, through BDSM (Business Development, Sales, and Marketing - no shades of Grey included) to development teams. And that works great because we have the right people in the right roles and we all look at the same direction.
And that is our culture. It results in building strong relations that go far beyond work. It leads to true friendships and constant learning. It leads to us believing that although there are jobs that pay better, have bigger projects and fancier office - we want to stick together.
It also brings no bullshit between our customer and development teams. Between our teams, departments and each other.
It builds the culture of asking for, giving and receiving feedback.
And the way to sustain it is great communication. Sharing the vision and strategy, Being open with our finance, project pipeline, goals, dreams and opportunities. It keeps us aligned.
We trust each other and we inspire this trust in our customers. It’s a great leverage when you’re putting common efforts to build great software and business.
Hard choice between opportunities and strategy
After 3 quarters of discussion we know much better the direction we want to develop our company. The hard thing is that we are not yet in the place where we have much more opportunities than we can take so choosing only those that help us rapidly chase our goal is not an option.
Good part is that we started to work on alignment between our products (, as a part of our strategy as a group.
Still having less resources and smaller budget than needed we juggle a lot which makes it hard to stay focused.
The approach we took is going backwards. We have assesed what’s the best possible scenario for each business in the 7-year span by comparing to those who are ahead of us.
We found out that our biggest opportunity is SaaS Manager as all indicates that:
 - it helps our customers achieve strategic goal with direct impact on their revenue and valuation
 - the telecom industry shows that what we deliver is exactly what’s the current trend
 - Fortune500 companies started acquiring startups from our space
Having that in mind we have started to analyze synergies between Neoteric and SaaS Manager and we are currently building the go-to-market strategy that takes these synergies into consideration.
Our next steps are assessing milestones in according to investment rounds and business development. Starting from the network in our target group (Internet Service Providers & Telecoms + Innovation Labs in Enterprises), planning the content and events that can expand this network.
We are also looking for Business Development Manager that has experience in selling enterprise cloud solutions in selected vertical.
Three books that helped us working on strategy
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't by James C. Collins
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility by Patty McCord
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