We have a vision for the future of energy procurement. And it starts with ideas.
Spitballing. It’s a proper word. And at UtilityClick we use it a lot. The foundation of any business starts with an idea; not always ground-breaking or revolutionary, but an invention of thought nonetheless which – following a layer of increasingly fine mesh filters – can transform into a reality, and ultimately dictate the shape of a company, the direction of a business model and, ultimately, success or failure.
Richard Branson is famed for the ‘Screw it, just do it’ mentality of business, which to his credit has turned him and his business empire into a global success story which undoubtedly inspires tens of thousands of entrepreneurs and employees the world over. And whilst I admire the courage and thick-skinned attributes required to take big risks in business, applying this high-risk-high-reward philosophy to everyday business decisions could result in a spiral of confusion and a hugely diversified offering which spins out of control.
I tend to take a more considered approach. My layer of spitball-filters is a little bit more complicated than a single sieve, but there’s an important flaw in each layer. A hole. A single, gaping hole in each filter, which if carefully manoeuvred and manipulated, allows an idea to precipitate through and onto the next challenge.
We use Trello (even if you don’t use this fantastically simple tool, you may have heard of it from its recent $425m acquisition by the geniuses at Atlassian). And we use it every. Single. Day. A board of ideas, collecting and developing – usually following a pub spitballing session (where a lot of great ideas are born) with my co-director and spitballer-in-arms.
I just counted, and we’ve got 96 ideas at the moment. Some of them are awful, others could be so good they might actually make it through the filters and get into our platform. Others have dropped so easily through the spitball mesh maze that they’re ready to emerge from the womb of imagination and are being pushed into development for our next release.
But I think the most amazing thing about our spitball collection is this: more than half of these ideas come from customers, and future customers. It’s an incredible satisfaction for everyone in our growing customer base – throwing an idea in the mincing machine and actually seeing it realise through filtering, development, testing and production. The functionality and usability of our Instant Quote and Procure CRM products are thanks to the great spitball machine fuelled by the ideas and aspirations of the energy sector. And we applaud and thank you for your contributions.
So what does this all mean for the future? We have a vision of a unified and smarter procurement sector, and it’s made possible by your ideas. Spitballing is our favourite word, and applying it to your own business can be the start of an incredible journey.