What's the winning launch formula?
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Richard Larcombe, Co-Founder of Is my bill fair and Ex CMO of Virgin Media, discusses the winning formula behind getting a new launch off the ground. Richard draws from his most recent experience in setting up his own business and explains the importance of diverse skill sets, common values and a determined yet agile approach.
James Roles: What’s a winning launch formula to get your product or service off the ground?
Richard Larcombe: Well I think there are a couple of things. I had a bunch of corporate jobs and I am now setting up my own business with three other guys. We are all in our 40s. We are all living in Winchester, all with kids the same age and all having a massive mid-life crisis! That fundamentally is actually what’s happening right now. However, what is quite interesting about the group is we all have quite different skill sets. We have a commercial guy, a procurement guy who scares the living sh*t out of me (laughter), a tech guy and I’m the marketer. We have a diverse skill set but we have a commonality in values which I think is really, really helpful because we know exactly how we want to work, how we interact with each other and because of that we have a huge amount of respect for each other’s disciplines. I think the second thing in a winning launch formula, is the need to be flexible. My Theresa May bit! (laughter)
At the moment we are trying to raise money and we believe everyone should be giving it to us (laughter). There is that famous Mike Tyson quote which along the lines of ‘everyone has a plan until you get smacked in the face’. I think in order to be flexible, nimble and able to change as we go into a pitch and then as we come out of it – effectively learning on the hoof! Tomorrow we are seeing some really big investors. The final thing, which has really echoed with what was said earlier, is the absolute dogged determination. Essentially, I am going to be sitting in front of a board of people and they are going to buying into three things – the people, the product and the plan. And you have to believe in it so much that it has to bleed from you. You have to have that huge self-belief, that huge self-confidence. We don’t have all the time but if you have it at that time in the moment with the three other guys next to you, that is critically important. And I believe that will be the final thing that pushes us over the line eventually.
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By Alexis Eyre