Resource allocation at the speed of light

I was at Northwestern Law's SBOC Conference this morning. On one of the panel speakers made the comment that entreprenuership is "resource allocation at the speed of light". Given my resource-centric view of the world, this comment particularly resonated with me.

I've heard it said before that, in an early stage startup, many of the decisions you make are "bet the entire company on it" decisions. This sounds grandiose and hugely important. This is only because most early stage startups do not have much of anything and, in reality, are yet to prove themselves to be hugely important. (I would include mine in this category). However, the most important decisions you make are related to what you do with the resources that you do have - time, money and whatever else that you have.

As I have alluded to in the past, something that I seem to struggle with every day is determining how much I, and the teams that work with me, can accomplish in the time that we have. Over the past quarter, here at Kellogg, what we work on has been changing week to week. Sometimes things move faster, perhaps because a customer verifies an assumption quicker than we'd thought. At other times we've spent hours arguing (constructively) over issues such as pricing. All the movements we make may not literally be allocating our resources at the speed of light. However, sometimes it sure does feel like it.

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