Few new companies in any industry last through their first 12 months, 90% fail.
Companies trying to bring new ideas into the CG and retail space are probably more challenged, than new companies in many other industries. CG and Retail are notoriously slow to adopt, just ask venture capital companies.
Companies born in 2008-2009 face a fate more daunting given the deepest, perhaps ugliest recession since early in the last century.
So, with a mixture of exhaustion, continued angst and abiding faith that the contribution of what we offer is going to be recognized, ShelfSnap finds itself in month 21 of its existence.
With the exception of a stellar PR month in May (Progressive Grocer , Frozen & Dairy Buyer, Logistics Viewpoints and Supply Chain Digest) we have laid very low for the months of March, April, May and June…so far.
This period is what I like to call the “deep dollar conference” season. It features the In-Store Summit, FMI, NACDS, as well as Nielsen’s, IRI’s and JDA’s user group meetings. We attended none of these. One of the reasons is that they are expensive and it is awfully hard for a small company to make a profitable payback from that investment.
The deeper reason is that we have been busy, very busy with some nice assignments from clients. One of my partners pointed out that rather than continuing to market and continuing to focus on sales, we needed to devote our energies to delivering value to our clients. Many new companies might be tempted to forget the need to return value for the faith these early clients put into new ideas. Certainly, every CEO and investor is tempted sorely to chase the next customer.
Still, knowing that your company has delivered value, delivered important information that has never before been available and that the information delivered has generate changes that significantly improve results, is important to the company and to the people who devote every waking hour to trying to build that company.
I thank my stars for the folks who have contributed so much to the building of ShelfSnap. We have a long way to go. This is my fourth startup and new companies always strive for survival before they can build for success. And we still face a tough recession; recovery seems to be more clearly evident in the District than in the aisles of the grocery store. And we still are trying to bring new measures to an industry famous for its plodding adoption.
So tomorrow we continue the process of delivering value, and begin to step up our efforts to build that value into additional business.