July 22, 2021

The chase of becoming incomparable.

If you ask anyone who knows me about what describes me the best, they will most likely answer with: "Farzad likes to make his life difficult. He could live a much easier life if only he wanted to."

And they are right. I tend to, at times, turn my life into hell for a few months/years, when I see, in my mind, that it might help me reach my goals sooner. I believe it's necessary. I believe if I don't, I might never get there on time. After all, we are all running on a limited time. Something that most of us overestimate. And things usually take a while until they fall into their place.

It took me a decade to turn 3drops from a one-man design shop into a world-class design agency, working with governments, institutions and enterprises to rethink the future. It took me almost 5 really difficult years to turn Roadmap into a self-funded, software studio that we now call OFC. And last, to make the full-circle, it took a good couple of years to get over myself and hire better CEOs for each. Which today enables me to take on my next journey: To turn Thailand into South East Asia's new tech hub through the work we do at Inen.

Throughout all these years, I've had countless nights where I wanted to call it all off. The thought of doing the wrong things, making the wrong decisions, hiring the wrong people, or simply not doing enough was just too overwhelming at times. But all these hard learned lessons aside, one thing made the most impact.

And that was to grow our business, we need to evolve our business model instead of growing our operations. Let me explain what I mean.

Every year, as we learn more about our work and others in the business, we brainstorm new ways to stand out by doing less. Every year, instead of growing our team size, taking on more challenges, offering more services, we remain small, charge more and do less. Which goes against our instincts as founders. Specially when things start to show return. More clients knocking on your door asking for more services, more customers want your product to offer more features and more people want to join your team.

And sure, who am I kidding, we did try to grow our operation at first. We added more services to our agency, hired more members to our team and took on more projects. We implemented more features to our products and tried to do more things for more people. And sure, we maybe saw some peaks in our revenue but it never lasted long enough to justify the new set of challenges that came with that growth. The type growth that you need to constantly grow your headcount, offer more services and implement more features just to keep it moving upwards. And at the end, more capabilities, more features, more services, means more people, and more people mean less flexibility, less freedom and less fun.

So we learned in order to create exponential businesses we need to become notorious constraint creators. Which may create pain in the short term as you figure out what your secret ingredients are but once you've found the right balance, you can build remarkable businesses, with small teams and budget. This means if you apply the right constraints in the right areas of your processes/products, you can deliver much better results compared to your competitors which allows you to charge more without adding more services/features/people.

I have limited availability in May. But if you are running a company and feeling stuck, I would be happy to help. I might not have the right answers, but I can guarantee that together, we can figure out what you can try next that might just help move the needle.

To start, DM to tell me a bit about yourself and your company.