Solutions for Retention and Transfer of Knowledge

Show Me The Money – Story #1

A friend of mine asked me: How much money can you make from extracting brilliance out of your brain (or that of key people on your team) and making it into a tangible asset? Great question!

In this Brilliance Nugget, I will share with you a powerful story to show you the monetary payoff from Brilliance Extraction™.

This story is only one of a growing number of stories. In subsequent Brilliance Nuggets, I will tell you more of them over time, covering different industries, different scenarios, and varying organizational sizes.

Story 1: A Software Company With a Global Product

This story is about a software company. Initially, they provided sophisticated CUSTOM solutions to their customers. The customers are very large organizations.

Over time, the primary inventor of the approach realized that they better productize their solution. He set out to build the product. Customers can now buy an off-the-shelf product (OTS) that is installed much more quickly. The standard product then gets configured and customized to the needs of the clients. The client has the choice to decide how much customization is needed.

The company needed an infusion of funding. They were successful in attracting investors. The investors want 95% of the company’s revenue to stem from product sales rather than from custom consulting projects. The company set the goal to increase its valuation going from 6.5M to 50M in three years. That is a factor of almost eight. In other words, the shareholders are going to make eight times more money when they sell the company.

Raising the Valuation of the Company By a Factor of Eight

What factors are important to make that happen? One essential factor is to pull the brilliance out of the visionary’s head. He built the product. He is the company’s system’s expert, too. It is not possible to sell the company without documenting the knowledge that he has in his brain. Even before selling, it is quite hard for the team to get consistent results.

Using Brilliance Extraction™, we are working on systems that

  1. Train their customers (teaching them the answer to the question “Why do we need this prodict?”),
  2. Their internal team,
  3. Their implementation partners.

We started with the course for training their customers.

  • We determined exactly the profile of the type of person who will be trained.
  • The objective was to give that person a gist of what this highly technical product does and why it matters.
  • We worked hard on simplifying the message appropriately so that the person responsible for conducting due diligence on the product would recommend it to their decision-making bosses.

The result: Revenues are growing.

Then, we focused on making the training about the product appropriate for the company’s growing internal team and their external implementation partners.

We discovered:

  • There are a lot of different circumstances to cover, especially, because the company has customers worldwide.
  • The training needs to go above and beyond configuration and customization of the product.
  • We had to teach the team how to properly onboard new clients and understand the customer’s workflows, terminology, and history.
  • Selecting new team members is also a science and an art. For example, the term “stack developer” can mean a lot of different things to differnt people. Plus the developers needed to have an interst not only in the software but also in the customer’s application of it.

We created a company portal. We are developing a course curriculum. Everyone who is involved will be trained to the same standards, mindset, and skills.

What Is The Payoff?

What is the payoff? It is not easy to put a simple number to that (until the company has been sold). But let’s see:

  • One way is to point to the 8-fold increase in valuation in only three years. Are we there yet? No, but the company is well on its way. Brilliance Extraction™ is a mjaor key to meeting this goal.
  • Would the company even be sellable without this effort being done? The answer is no. What’s that worth monetartily? Probably about $50 Million!

I’m Curious

What inspires you the most about this story? Which questions or thoughts do you have?

Stephie Althouse