Money has been at the heart of business since the beginning. But as more start-up businesses take shape, we have to ask, “Is it all about the money?”.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.
Being at JP Morgan, the annual conference where the worlds of biotech and investment collide, gave me the opportunity to catch up and bump into many colleagues and friends. Everyone had a chock-a-block schedule, trying to squeeze in as many meetings as possible with current and potential partners, and money was a top conversation subject.
Of course money is needed to build and grow businesses, but does it define success? Being in San Francisco and talking to many people over the past week has made me think about purpose. All this talk about money made me wonder if it was really the driver. If it was, I am not sure success would be possible.
One could debate that money equals success or success equals money, but I really believe that it takes a lot more than the desire to make money to be successful.
What Drives Individuals?
For example, I caught up with a CEO that recently made an exceedingly large amount of money, but within just a few days of acquisition is already building another biotech company. I spoke with a VP of sales on his fifth successful startup who is working around the clock to grow yet another company’s revenue.
I met a successful physician that has been developing a product for the past 10 years, with a dream to see it approved and change the standard of care. I met with an investor with a very successful track record, diligently meeting with multiple prospects to identify his best new investments. Even without knowing each individual’s personal situation, I can safely say that the main driver is not money.
So what drives them?
I think it is passion. For some, it’s the rush that comes with seeing businesses grow. For others, it’s a desire to see their idea change the status quo. I can easily identify with that feeling.
I could have been satisfied with Matchbook, my successful and growing nine-year-old consulting business focused on providing procurement and sourcing support to fast-growing small biotech companies. I could have also chosen to be home with my three daughters. Although I have other options, I have chosen to work around the clock for the past 18 months to build tealbook.
What drives me to make so many compromises and remain so focused on building this business? It is passion for seeing tealbook come to life and become a market leader in providing supplier information. This passion is supported by many factors, and every crazy entrepreneur has his or her own list.
Here are a few of mine:
- I believe in the idea: I strongly believe that tealbook can help clients significantly reduce time spent identifying the right suppliers and increasing cost efficiencies.
- I want to solve the problem: I’ve seen firsthand the challenges of inefficient supplier information while supporting sourcing needs for large number of pharma and biotech companies. There is a solution!
- I see the market opportunity: So many software companies have focused on developing Procure to Pay solutions and back end financial analytics. But compliance of the tools and user experience has not been done successfully. Technology is only as good as people using it and its data. User experience and compliance is at the top of our list when it comes to gathering and accessing supplier intelligence.
- I want tealbook to be a market leader: We have developed smart and user friendly technology. I know we can give clients access to supplier information better than anyone else – we have talked to enough people to validate this statement both in the life science industry and beyond. We can own this position and easily become the most used front-end platform to significantly reduce the time spent identifying the right suppliers.
- I made a commitment: I have made a commitment to myself, clients, suppliers, my team and the rest of the industry. Once I decided to launch tealbook, I made a promise to see it come to life, change the industry and make it a success.
One day, I hope to spend more time with my girls before they get too big. But, I can’t see myself stopping with tealbook. What drives me comes from inside and continues to grow with each interaction and success, small or large.
Although money certainly allows us to properly support our customers, grow our technology, generate more visibility, provide employee security and remain attractive to potential investors or partners, I strongly believe that if we are truly passionate and motivated about growing a company, money will be an outcome.
You can’t put a price on the exhilaration of success!