Articles | October 17, 2012
IT Business is Like a Champions League Tournament
Every football team in Europe dreams of qualifying for the prestige Champions League tournament. It is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and the most prestigious club competition in European football. The final of the 2011 tournament was the most-watched UEFA final to date, as well as the most watched annual sporting eventworldwide that year, drawing 178.7 million television viewers. What is the success story related to the 16 football clubs, out of almost hundreds of thousands in Europe, which are able to qualify to this most important football competition once per year?
What does the paragraph above have to do with IT business?
Let me try to prove my hypothesis- Doing IT business is like participating a Champions League tournament… by providing a thesis in the example below:
Since the beginning of this year (January 2012) we have been focusing to prepare ourselves for participating in the biggest Mobile Conference in Europe called Apps World 2012.
As an IT Company we deciding to join the most influential event in Europe related to mobile industry, where top market leaders from all over the world included: developers, mobile marketers, mobile operators, device manufacturers, platform owners and industry professionals are meeting in one place, once per year: at Earls Court 2 in London!
I personally believe that there are a lot of common factors when a football club is preparing for the Champions League tournament and IT Company is preparing for attending the most crucial event in the IT industry.
If you ever watch a football team interview before the Champions League game, you can always hear the following words showing up in the statements:
Prestige, confrontation, positioning, knowledge & experience exchange, bitter defeat, mobilization, strategy, challenges, harnessing our own stereotypes, fight, and many more…
It means that we, people are not so far away from each other, no matter what the industry, social status or any other differentiating factor is.
While attending the Apps World 2012, we felt that we are there rather small (with services offering, scale of product influence), when comparing with brands like: Google, Apple, Facebook, Samsung, etc. but on other hand, we had chance to make live interaction with them, try to see what their good and weak sides are, how they are preparing their business model and long term strategy. But even if you stand in front of your competitor acting as Dawid meeting Goliath, and your chances to win anything seem very low, there is a glimmer of hope. Because all the pressure is put on your “enemy” you do not feel any prejudice and paradoxically you can win even more than you might have expected before.
We spent some very busy time during those 2 days of exhibiting at Earls Court 2 in London (See some selected pictures below). We met a lot of interesting people (hundreds of business cards exchanged), had some nice brainstorm discussions with business owners and also shared our knowledge and industry approach with workshop attenders on panel discussion: “In-House app building versus working with vendors, and pre-packaged solutions”. We gained a lot of fresh inspiration how to handle security (in the development process) and how to monetize the mobile applications. We also had a chance to review and focus on our core mobile and web based solutions. We were being asked about dedicated solutions, resources availability and technology focus.
We were surprised when, at the first day of exhibition, we saw two project leaders from our current Belgian Client (this year we developed together top sports applications such as: Tour de France, Olympic Games or Gouden11).
They decided to attend Apps World event to get an industry update and meet us there as a partner to share their experience with prospects visiting our stand (#65) and explain to them the near-shore cooperation model (focusing on team extension mode).
The idea of entitling my blog post: “Doing IT business is like participating a Champions League tournament…” has its beginnings in watching a Champions League game: Arsenal London – Olympiakos Pireus (on the Emirates Stadium in London). We have been invited by our Belgian Client to go out for a match on Wednesday evening (just after the 2nd day of exhibition), 3th of October and integrate with each other watching an incredible football performance LIVE!
Doing IT business is really similar to the Champions League tournament. If you focus on the top things, you head to get the top Clients, top projects and top IT knowledge. But it also goes in the same direction with the local league. If your ambition and carrie goal is to win only the local league, you will become what you deserve, like in the Ben Howard’s song “The Fear”.
And the last important conclusion:
If you would like to join the Champions League tournament and win the main award later on, please remember that your whole team needs to put their hearts in the desire to fight for IT; doing IT alone will be useless…