One of the things that has allowed Seedcamp to scale from a few startups in our early years to over 250+ companies today, is an understanding of what elements of our operations need to sit in what parts of the RPP stack (what I’m calling it).
The RPP stack, in short, is:
Relationships — This includes how you engage with not only your customers, but also your employees. It is the most critical of all the below. As in, you need to really think this part the most through. If trust breaks down here, whatever you do below is pretty much broken from the start.
Process — This is born out of relationships, meaning you need to understand the scope of relationships, where things can fall through the cracks if not structured, and where things can only scale across new teams members joining, if not adequately structured. Always keep reviewing this on a regular basis so that it isn’t out of touch with Relationships and that trust, otherwise it turns into a potential United Airlines moment, and you know how that ended up.
Product — This is born out of the combination of Relationships and Process as it serves either your customers or your employees. Yes, you can have products for internal use as well as for external commercial gain. In theory, many businesses could operate within Relationships and Process alone, but are only truly capable of scaling once they take some of those and convert them into a Product that leverages both Relationships and Process. Naturally, there are some businesses, where the Product is front and center as the start of the company, but let’s face it, it’s just a manifestation of Relationship and Process at the end of the day, it’s just that the process is not really affordable to do without the Product from the onset.
Questions for reflection —
Where is your company in understanding which relationships could benefit from process to increase the quality of that relationship across a larger group of team members?
Does your company have processes that would be better suited in converting into a product to allow you to scale faster?
Does your product accurately represent the trust dynamic between your relationships and the processes they need?
Do your relationships suffer because the quality of your interaction suffers between interactions due to the lack of support from a process and/or product?