Prep day

Spending the rest of week in Sanya – my meeting with Pecce – my mentor – got push to Friday or Saturday so it actually good that I book the week.

Over couple days I have pretty much decided to separate Pearlsonly and RedStores into separate companies. Restores as is now will be RedStores Operations and a new company RedStores Ventures will be R&D and expansion beyond Pearlsonly. With this I’m looking at making some significant mgmt changes. I’m planning to physically separate RedStores Operations from RedStores Ventures – although both will be in same building I need for Ventures to be rid of any distractions and focus on only one thing – growth.

The challenge that innate run into the reasons for these decisions is that with a company that has run for 7 years – things slow down – things that would take days take weeks and weeks takes months. I just don’t have the luxury of that pace.

So, with Ventures I’m going to pull in a new team – a fast paced team where we will move very fast. I’m considering taking a few people from Operations and moving them to Venture but for most part I want to let Operations run as it is – it works well enough and it’s just that it has reached it’s limit.

So, Ventures will be headed up by Gerry and will be relocated to a different office space. I will do my best to isolate Gerry from anything but growth related activities.

RedStores Operations I see run by Jessica as a GM.

From investor point of view investment would be channeled into RedStores Ventures while RedStores Operations would be held privately by myself.

A somewhat radical idea I’m considering is to actually no longer have an office – another-words – I’m looking at extraction myself to the Chairman level – and letting the people that I trust do the things they are good at.

For example, Jessica is a million times better than me as a GM than I can ever be – and Gerry’s hunger for kicking ass and fire in his belly surpasses mine.

So, a big part of me sees me as now an obstacle to growth.

So, what would I do? Well – mentoring and assisting Jessica with some new things she would encounter, focus on financial side ( still needs more work), fund raising, and other relationships.

What had convinced me of this strategy is when Gerry denied to me a project that one of his programmers did – the demo basically done in few days – gives us the ability to "enable china direct" within weeks! So, it was a great reminder that when you have people that have fire in their belly you can launch a rocket. In RedStores operations we are basically moving way to slow to get growth. But what we are doing is still necessary. So, separation of focus.

We are now onboarding product sourcing people – I think we have 2 now already – and now we need software to be there to allow these galls to do work.

So, most drastic this that I’m still mulling over is not having an office in the office. Something feels right about that – and although I cant quite put my finger what it is that I like about is – I like it. Perhaps its my style of delegation – give responsibility and get the he’ll out of the way. Perhaps.

So, this week with Pecce I will go over with him my ideas and my philosophy and see if he has any similar experiences that he can share with me.

Financial results foe the year are done – not 100% on the nose – but my model that I do independent of accounting and the accounting numbers are within few percent of each other. So, it’s great in two ways. First my forecast tools are working hence i have predictability – and second – we did good this year. I’m pleased with the results and I think in 2011 i should be able to add around 5 points to bottom line through the corp restructuring we did. Not bad for this crappy economy.

So, having solid results helps me correct some issues from last few years. Not correct them 100% but at least half way. It gives me some room to move forward with RedStores Ventures without outside investment – and gives me breathing room in case things go bad. So, while 2010 was financially on the edge I’m hopefully that 2011 will be not so tight.