What is a “Gazelle” Company?

 Gazelle companyLikening companies to animals is not uncommon. Big businesses, like Wal-Mart, are often referred to as “elephants,” whereas small businesses are called “mice.” The “gazelle” company is less associated with a company’s physical size, and rather its capacity for rapid growth. Author David Birch first coined the term in his 1987 book: Job Creation in America: How Our Smallest Companies Put the Most People to Work. He defined a gazelle company as one that doubles its sales every four years. This growth rate is immense, but it is not limited to companies that are sizable themselves. Anyone can earn the title of a gazelle company.

A percentage of companies that gain the gazelle title are involved in retail sale, but a large number of the titleholders are tech-focused. For example, four out of the top twenty fastest growing companies in 2016 were all tech-based. Facebook, Ambarella, Skyworks, and Super Micro Computer were among the top-rated.

Gazelle companies are also known for their ability to generate new job opportunities. David Birch estimated that the gazelles, approximately 4% of U.S. companies, were responsible for 70% of all new jobs. In 2008, the director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Public Policy at George Mason University, found that only 2% of the companies were high-impact firms. Big companies were raising unemployment rates, and doing nothing to create jobs.  

Number8 and the Gazelle Company Theory

At Number8, we work to adopt the mindset of a gazelle company. Our employees are the best in the business. We ensure that all of our software developers are highly-skilled, and trained thoroughly. By employing people not just at our home base in Louisville, Kentucky, but also in Costa Rica, we are able to take advantage of the talent available all over the world. We also strive to create a community environment among our employees. This helps to develop a strong, and productive workplace, which in turn allows for creativity and top-notch products.

We are ranked as one of the fastest growing companies by Greater Louisville Inc. and since then we have ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies in the U.S. We are recognized as a leader in IT consulting, technical staffing solutions, and agile software development outsourcing.

One of the greatest values we bring to our customers is that our nearshore location enables us to augment scrum teams without the added burden of increased specifications, communication difficulties and rework. Our most successful clients integrate our agile software developers into their onsite teams. This helps to better leverage their subject experts and increase team velocity.

To learn more about Number8 and the services we provide, visit our page here. You can also give us a call at (502) 890-7665 today!

 

Insights for Business Leaders from a Popular 2016 TED Talk

Insights for business leadersEveryone wants to be original. But what does that really mean? Does it mean being the first, or being the best? In one of 2016’s most popular TED Talk sessions, author and professor Adam Grant explores the concept of what makes someone an “original thinker.” Below, we have outlined the three qualifiers from Grant’s talk and how they apply to becoming a successful business leader.

Adam Grant’s “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers” TED Talk

Late to the Party

In his TED Talk, The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers, Grant reveals some unexpected details about the link between procrastination and success. He tells a story of former students who asked him to invest in their start-up. They were behind schedule, so Grant declined. He later found out that their company was none other than the widely successful Warby Parker. As a chronic “pre-crastinator”, Grant failed to see that sometimes procrastination is necessary when building something great.

“Originals are non-conformists, they drive creativity in the world,” Grant said. When you procrastinate, you have more time to think through the prompt, and create original, “divergent” ideas. However, procrastination does not always lead to success. There is a “sweet spot” of productivity and creativity somewhere in the middle between pre-crastinating and overly procrastinating. If you start Procrastination can lead to creativity: insights from a TED Talkon a project too early, you aren’t taking advantage of your brain power. Rather you’re solving issues in the easiest, most accessible way, which is most likely how everyone else is working. If you wait too long, you run out of time and do the same thing. But if you procrastinate just long enough, you might reach a truly original solution.

Feel Doubt and Fear

As Grant mentions in his TED Talk, when you think of an original thinker, you think of someone who is unabashedly confident and self-assured. But in reality, people who come up with great and unique ideas are just as afraid of failing as anyone else. What sets them apart however, is that their fear of not trying at all outweighs their fear of failure. They believe in the idea that our biggest regrets are not our actions, but our inactions.

Lots of Bad Ideas

It can be discouraging to have one unsuccessful idea after another, but that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Original thinkers fail the most because they are the ones that try the most. If you want to be an original, you have to generate a lot of ideas. Is it easy to remember the famous inventors and business-owners for the one idea that made them famous, but that wasn’t their first, or their last idea.

Grant also says that an original idea doesn’t necessarily have to be unique. Take Google for instance. The search engine wasn’t the first of its kind. Yahoo came before, and yet Google is used far more frequently than any other search engine. “You don’t have to be first, you just have to be better,” he said.

At Number8 we strive to empower original thinkers within our own staff, and among our clients. If you are a business leader with an original idea, but need some help making it happen, give us a call at (502) 890-7665, or learn more about our services here

 

10 Tips for First Time Entrepreneurs

first time entrepreneurIn today’s world it may seem easier than ever to create your own business. As long as you have access to the Internet, the possibilities are endless. However, there are still many difficulties that come along with being a first time entrepreneur. So, below we have assembled a list of ten tips to help you and your business succeed.

Take Risks

Arguably, just making the decision to pursue an independent career as an entrepreneur is risky in itself. And once you get past that first step, you can’t stop taking risks. No matter how intimidating it is, fear of failing should never stop you from taking your business to its highest potential. Playing it safe doesn’t lead to success.

Be in control

Take initiative, and stand by your decisions. Your employees and coworkers will appreciate a firm vision. Own your ideas and stick to a path that you believe in.

Network among peers

Look for employees among your peers. They are more likely to understand your perspective and be able to support it. Hire people that you admire and will enjoy working with. Surround yourself with people who won’t be afraid to challenge you and teach you. Work with people who you respect and who respect you.  

Ask for help

It is difficult to admit when you don’t have all the answers. But if you feel comfortable around your employees, it may be a little easier to ask for advice. It is important to remember that asking for help does not mean you are no longer in control. Even the most successful CEOs struggle, and the sooner you come to terms with that, the better off your company will be.  

Trust your team

As an entrepreneur, it may be tempting to micromanage all goings on throughout the office. But remember that you hired your employees because of their competency. Trust that they are spending their time wisely. It can be disheartening for employees to feel as though they have no control over their work. Resist the urge to nitpick and instead focus your energy on the big picture.  

Know when to say no, and when to say yes

Don’t take on more than you can handle. But also don’t skip out on potentially lucrative projects. This will become easier the longer you are in the business. As a first time entrepreneur, sometimes the best advice is to just trust your instincts and learn from your mistakes.

Stay organized

Organization is essential to being a successful entrepreneur. It can be as simple as keeping up with a mobile calendar, or as detailed as mapping out plans and projects for years to come. You should know what is ahead and be ready for whatever it may be.    

Be true to your brand

Developing and maintaining a brand helps to promote your business and keep it in the public eye. If marketing isn’t in the forefront of your skillset, it would be worth it to either hire an in-house expert or outsource through other companies.  

Save money, but don’t be afraid to splurge on the necessities

As a first time entrepreneur, you probably aren’t generating a large profit yet and should be wise about how you spend money. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean holding onto every last dime. Depending on the type of business, you may need to invest quite a bit of money into technology. If you invest in quality equipment from the beginning, the cost will pay for itself once you attract clients.   

Be accountable

There are many benefits of being your own boss, but sometimes it means being tough on yourself. If you can hold yourself accountable, keep your promises, and consistently follow through with goals, then your employees will too. Set an example, and be the boss that you would want to work for.

 

At Number8, we understand and support those who want to pursue their own career path as an entrepreneur. We also offer tech support services for new businesses. Learn more about the work we do, and how we can help your company succeed by clicking here, or give us a call at (502) 890-7665!  

Job Happiness & Why You Should Look Into Tech

It is a question often asked: are you happy at your job? Seems simple enough, yet job happiness is hard to define. From 2006-2012 Gallup World Polls collected data trying to understand how happy the world is. The World Happiness Report then pulled the data and created an in depth analysis of the current climate of job satisfaction around the globe. Their findings suggest that employees are happiest in jobs that not only pay well, but are also challenging and dynamic.

Factors Affecting Job Happiness

In the report, the researchers explain that money is not the only important factor in workplace satisfaction.

“As might be expected, we find that those in well-paying jobs are happier…but a number of further aspects of people’s jobs are strongly predictive of varied measures of well-being. Work-life balance emerges as a particularly strong predictor of people’s happiness. Further factors include job variety and the need to learn new things, as well the level of individual autonomy enjoyed by the employee.”

Job Happiness

Another variable that affects job happiness is status. Employees in a “professional” position reported they were less likely to experience “negative affective states” compared to other job types. Serving as a manager, or other high-level position creates a greater level of job satisfaction.

One of the other key components of this study showed that a separation between work and personal life affects happiness. “Workers who report that their job interferes with their ability to spend time with their partner and family, as well as those who ‘bring their job home’ with them report systematically lower levels of subjective wellbeing.”

The type and content of a job also highly affects employee satisfaction. While this seems like common sense, it is often hard to see how the type of career you are in may be negatively impacting your life. When it’s a job you’ve had for a long time, or it is in the field you think is best suited for you, it can be especially difficult.

The report shows that people who work in jobs that “entail high levels of variety” are more happy overall. A job that is stagnant doesn’t challenge its employees, and therefore is unsatisfactory. It is important to find a balance between challenging and overly-stressful, however. Structure and organization is highly important in this case to prevent a chaotic environment.

How Tech Jobs Compare

In recent years, tech careers have become increasingly popular. With the rise of big-name companies like Google, as well as startups like Lyft, the tech world is expanding. Tech companies are now known for providing unique perks to employees that aren’t offered in other fields.Job Happiness

Companies like Instagram, Facebook and Buzzfeed, among others, are well-known for providing their employees with delicious meals, wellness opportunities, and community gatherings. Many tech companies hire someone whose sole job is to ensure the happiness of all employees.

Added perks like free food, and even free haircuts, are still supplemental to the satisfaction that comes from working in an industry that is inherently active. As the World Happiness Report showed, people are more happy when employed in complex careers. Because tech is constantly evolving and changing it is naturally a challenging field to work in. It also often presents opportunities for collaboration. Many employees reported feeling more satisfied when they felt as though they were closely involved in a community work environment.  

If you’re interested in the tech field, or know someone who is, then don’t hesitate to reach out! Give us a call at (502) 890-7665 and visit our career page here