Last week, was one of those weeks we love in business development. I was down in DC exploring a new potential application of our technology (early indicators say it looks promising by the way!). In the interim, I did some research on my fellow exhibitors at Web 2.0 to target potential opportunities. Neither of these activities was time spent on our core targets. Of course, in that time, we were also trying to wrap up a few deals that fall into our key areas of focus.
All this activity makes me analyze my time closer. It's a constant balance between focus and opportunity. There seem to be two schools of thought about business development in a start-up world. Opportunistic vs. Singular Focus. My philosophy has always been that any organization, not just a start-up, needs to be able to stay nimble and outward looking to hear opportunity knocking.
There are acquisitions, timely current events, new information gained (even people you meet on a plane, right Dave? ), which any good business should be able to act upon in real time. I think a team should devote up to 20% of their time researching, exploring and responding to new ideas. If the 80% left does not allow enough time to execute your core plan, then the core plan is too broad and you should narrow your focus to allow you to answer the door when opportunity knocks.