Why you need to work at Silicon Valley speed.

What tool will you use to create a market, fight off competition, and develop a sustainable high-growth company? Many experts point to your ability to operate faster than everyone else as the key determinant in your company’s success. I have long believed that this is the ultimate weapon of Silicon Valley; that a culture of speed is what breeds billion dollar outcomes. No other community today can match the sense of urgency that the region creates.

As one of the community leaders of emerging community (Raleigh/Durham, NC) and as a speaker who has traveled to like-sized cities across the country, I can clearly observe a speed gap between the Valley and everywhere else. It is obvious and measurable. I would also add that the speed gap does not operate on a linear scale. In other words running at ½ speed will not yield ½ the results.

Unfortunately, if you have not witnessed Mach 2.0, aka “Valley speed”, you may not know what that feels like or what you are up against.

This regional sense of urgency should be applied to your region, your community and your company. Remember, there is competition (implied or explicit) for capital, people, space and mindshare.

I find that the application of “time” is the one area where people consistently falter.

Think back over the past week/month at the decisions you made regarding your day job (company or entity). How many decisions did you and your team make? How long did it take to make those decisions? How did the decisions get made? How many could have been made faster?

When I observe decision-making, I find that there are a few significant flaws in the typical process such as:

  • All decisions are created equal
    • Decision-makers implement that same process for all decisions,
    • Decision-makers apply the same time span for all decisions,
    • Decision-makers utilize the same people for all decision.
  • In addition, exact due dates/times are not established for all decisions.

I read recently that hiring a new employee now takes 63 days, up from 42 in 2010, according to a 2015 study with 400 recruiters. I have written many times that hiring the right people is one of the critical traits of a successful company. But should the same amount of time be spent on hiring a junior developer vs. the new Chief Marketing Officer?

I have outlined 6 simple tasks to incorporate speed into your culture at INC.COM.