I am usually available for one-off calls within about 3-4 days, unless I'm traveling. Please do NOT connect for advice on fundraising or introductions to investors.
10 years of diverse experience.
Quite simply, no. A copywriter cannot do this for you. In addition, your use of the words "us" and "our" is a red flag for me. The entire team together ALSO cannot craft this story.
It may feel good to use we/us language to signal that you are a team, but the stories that emerge that way are typically "design by committee" exercises in business vision/strategy. One person -- a founder, preferably the CEO -- needs to dictatorially define the vision and the why and persuade others to his/her way of thinking. Maybe not in long-form copy. Maybe in the form of a keynote address with slides. But the person offering the why has to truly own the story.
A copywriter can help you cast the story into a form suitable for an About page, but that's secondary. If you don't have a single dictatorial visionary who can tell the story, you have far bigger problems than a website About page.
E-Myth offers a good model for businesses that fit the "machine" metaphor well, but does not work as well for businesses that are better described by a "people over process" organic metaphor. For the latter kind of business, even if you can afford it, the wrong first hire is far worse than no hire. E-Myth is dangerously biased towards highly legible business models where the machine can be automated using a mix of process and training for interchangeable people. If you are building a business model that needs unique rather than interchangeable people at this stage of growth, E-Myth is the wrong model for you.
Date before marriage, and make sure the person is The One. Then consider finances.
Your "fear" is not something to just get over. It is a valid signal that you should pay attention to. If your revenue volatility is so high that you cannot smooth it out with savings/credit to pay an employee, perhaps you should not hire one. It's a huge level-up in terms of complexity of running the business.
Beyond this, there are no general answers. All "machine" businesses (a la E-Myth) are alike, but every non-machine business is non-machine-like in its own unique way.
There are two basic reasons to get business insurance.
First, if you're making enough money that you're worth suing. That does not apply in this case.
Second, if your clients require you to have insurance before accepting you as a vendor for certain services. Most large companies will require service vendors to fulfill certain liability requirements. But for a SaaS offering, especially if the pricing model is a low subscription, you won't trigger the conditions that have their purchasing department demanding you get insurance. It applies more to vendors who are either offering personalized services (like consultants) or service providers who bill very large dollar amounts.
So get insurance when you first start making pots of money OR when a first large enterprise client makes it a condition of working with you. Don't waste money before that.
We had a vigorous discussion about my work and how his blog entry on "Quality of Life" pertained to that, and I came away with several interesting insights and directions. I would certainly do this again - and I would consider hiring his consulting services outright for other projects.
Many thanks, Venkat!
Venkat understood my situation after 5 minutes of questioning and fed me exactly the quality of food for thought that I was expecting. I'll be back for more.
Venkatesh delivered fantastic value in a short time frame. His focus and clarity created a simple direct path for me to follow.
I am grateful to be able to call on his assistance in this way.
Venkatesh is a voracious reader and a disciplined thinker, and really the perfect fit for a service like Clarity. He’s got a knack for quickly assessing your position and grasping the nature of your obstacles. You’ll appreciate his uncanny ability to shine the spotlight on exactly what’s holding you back, and to offer clear guidance that consistently turns out to be ridiculously helpful.
Great talk, Venkatesh shared his knowledge and personal experience to help me designing a product launch strategy. The guy is good.
Despite my question being a little outside of Venkat's areas of expertise, he took the time to methodically address the different dimensions of the problem, and pressed on points of ambiguity. We ended with a few takeaways and a confirmation of the overall approach to the problem. Recommended.
Really good. Insightful and also very nimble--Venkat gave me a fresh perspective through which to think.
Helpful. Insightful. More people should ask Venkat for advice. He picks up quickly and have a plethora of diverse experience with thoughts to offer.
We hired Venkat for a business consulting project after being intrigued with his smart, creative essays in InformationWeek on the evolution of enterprise IT buying patterns. Venkat was able to apply some of his unique analysis frameworks to our specific opportunities and present some deep and thoughtful strategies for us to consider as our market grows and matures. We had Venkat present these results widely within our sales and leadership team which has been valuable in helping us frame our coming year. Venkat is a thought leader with some unique perspectives that can also create fantastic content and communicate this with an engaging presentation style. I highly recommend Venkat and hope to work with him going forward.
It is a pleasure working with Venkat - his incisive and analytical mind cut straight to the very nub of any issues. He has a fantastic ability to create dialogue in areas that are complicated but in need of discussion and is painfully honest - a much needed and very refreshing attribute.
His work/time ratio is nothing short of phenomenal, creating in -depth results in a matter of hours. We would not hesitate to thoroughly recommend Venkat for consultancy work.
This recommendation was one of the easiest and at the same time one of the hardest to write.
I will assume that you are reading this because you are considering Venkatesh for a consulting engagement. It also means that he hasn't yet made his profile invisible in the attempt to hide from the flood of new clients. So basically you are in luck. Hire him while you can. Easy.
The hard part was choosing only three top attributes from the list of seven. But now I can simply write in the remaining ones here: Venkatesh is personable, has deep and detailed knowledge in several areas of expertise that were key for the project (startup success factors, organizational behavior, competitive analysis, brand and product marketing strategies, and more), is absurdly modest when setting his hourly rates, and does what he promises when he promises it.