Before we launched Enolytics, many of you were familiar with my writing on wine for Forbes online. Contributing to Forbes was a boon to my career as a writer, as it enabled me to explore the wine industry and to study the nuances of its business from the inside out. Since my particular “beat” in the column was technology, it was during this time that the kernel of the idea for Enolytics began to take shape.
Once we launched in 2016, my editors at Forbes halted my writing about technology and, though I am still an enthusiastic contributor at Forbes on other areas of the wine business, I also began writing for Inc online about entrepreneurship, particularly in the wine and hospitality space. The Inc platform, too, has opened exceptional opportunities for exploring the nuances of business, this time through the entrepreneurial lens.
An article I posted this week outlines a pivotal moment along the entrepreneurial journey of Enolytics: when to decide to scale the business. You are welcome to read the original post over on Inc.com but here are the key takeaways for anyone who’s experienced the vertigo of the roller coaster ride that is the startup world.
We knew what Enolytics’ initial offering was but we also knew that, since data analysis was (and is) still a new concept for the wine industry, we'd have to be nimble and responsive to the needs that were being expressed. This meant a lot of listening and, for the sake of our bottom line, even more understanding of how to scale what seemed at first to be one-off or custom projects.
It isn't easy. There are projects we're managing now that frankly we couldn't have anticipated when we launched, and were not even on our radar during the writing of our business plan.
There was no way we could have anticipated the particular development of Enolytics Spain, because we couldn't have predicted that there was a data group in Madrid who had been planning to do very much the same thing. There was no way to know, until we launched and the idea was "out there."
Shortly after Andrés Bonet contacted me about a satellite office in Madrid, where he lives, he drove to Bordeaux to meet me; I'd been teaching at a university there that week. We sat and talked on the edge of a fish market, with a few burly and very vocal fishmongers in the background, in the midst of a bustling Saturday morning market in November.
The business is data is transacted in zeroes and ones, of course, but face-to-face was where the business of our partnership was transacted. (Accompanied by the soundtrack of fishmongers throwing fish.)
The essence of entrepreneurship is putting a new idea out there. Something, probably many things, are bound to go wrong. But it's what you'll learn along the way that make launching the idea — and its subsequent iterations — worth doing.