The Business of IT
Joe, Ash and Andrew had some serious thinking to do: How much time and effort should Biarri spend furthering its long-term mission and "living its values", versus chasing short term revenue?
In order to position for the next stage of growth, Biarri had decided to reinvest its operating profit for 6 months to fund a self sustaining commercial structure for the Core Business (Biarri Optimisation) and to mature the technology platform (“The Workbench”). Specifically they recruited a CEO and two commercial managers and grew the size of the R&D team. The new structure now needs to deliver the revenue volumes to return the business to full profitability.
How much money should Biarri invest in updating its Workbench and what sort of updates should it make. On the one hand, it seems riskier than ever to spend much time on internal non-revenue-raising activities. Now is not the time to take on risky endeavours!
On the other hand, prospecting for opportunities in a wide marketplace has always been at the forefront of Biarri’s commercial approach, yet now Biarri is getting increasingly shoehorned into industry specific models in narrow verticals (most prominently, the rail and resources industries within Australia) and that comes with its own risks.
Remember, the (very lucrative) NBN contract came from a left field opportunity that was in fact initially pursued on a work-for-free basis. Perhaps Biarri should continue the approach that has made it successful so far: take a wide approach, reduce risk by diversifying across industries, incubate new tools and technologies, and cast its net widely – some big fish will get caught!
Before making a decision, it was worth reflecting on what had been achieved so far.
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