Jayashree wore a black skirt above her knees, and a white button-down shirt. The shirt was new, the skirt still fit her from prep school. Raj and Shankar were similarly dressed in suits as they strode into the investors’ conference room together. On Shankar’s advice, they took seats almost before looking at their hosts. He thought sitting down would be better than standing. Jayashree smiled broadly and spoke to the 3 investors, “It’s been six months since we all first met; how are all of you doing?”
“Oh we’re very well, thank you.” The lawyer continued, “We only have a couple of discussion items. And I understand you have an agenda to bring forward. Do you want to start first, or…”
“Why don’t you go first, I suspect our issues might run parallel to yours’,” Shankar fended the first question for the team.
“OK then, I will. We understand that as the operational management team, you’ve provided work direction to the development team counter to our initial direction,” the lawyer paused for comment. No comment ensued. “We’re actually fine with that. We’re comfortable that you did this in a smart manner. To disguise the support work as value-features we think is brilliant. The reuse of operational information as dashboards for the consumer is a sustainable offering. Well done.” The lawyer again paused to allow a response. This time one came from Shankar.
“Thank you for supporting us on that one. Our issue is related to the development team itself. We weren’t considering global resourced labor. To adjust for the initial communication latency, we believe it prudent to recognize now that our target launch date should move to the right 20%.”
The lawyer interjected, “Are there any other concerns on working with the Viet Namese?”
Shankar was on point, “Not at all. But our experience suggests timelines will slip a bit, at least the first year. Might as well plan for it now.”
Another investor responded, “Shankar, we really are very impressed with your team’s managerial decision making. We want you to know that you have earned our trust. We want you to move forward on your projects that involve anything at all, and fit within 10% of our plan budget. You don’t need to consult with us. But we also want you to make resources sufficient to developing based on our market research and partnerships for the other 90% of the budget. Does that sound like a viable plan?”
“The three looked at each other approvingly and Shankar responded for them, “It seems very doable.”
“Good,” continued the owner, “then let’s discuss our next opportunity. Garmin is concerned about losing market share on their GPS navigational products to Google Maps mashups on the iPhone and other smart phones. The want to feed us their street data. It’s superior to Google Maps and they feel it will generate sales to their mobile navigators. Down the road, they plan to provide us with streaming audio as well so that anyone can use their smart phone as a fully functional Garmin product. In other words, their partnership with us is to move off their appliance model to a SaaS business model. We haven’t worked out the licensing yet, but we’ll pay them a percentage of our SW sales for their content. We told them we could deliver this in our first release. What do you all think?”
Raj responded enthusiastically, “That’s brilliant. I just need to add a few tables and this is very doable.”
The two teams discussed other business topics and finished their meeting on very positive terms. It was now time to focus hard core on Ruby and Python development.