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Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Amir Taichman, CEO and founder of Unity SCM, a supply chain operations platform that has raised over $13 million in funding.

  • Amir’s 11-year career in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), where he learned that seemingly impossible goals can be achieved by assembling the right team and providing them with clear objectives and the freedom to pursue them.
  • The problem of highly fragmented data in supply chain operations, with each party involved in a transaction holding only a small piece of the full picture, making it difficult to make intelligent decisions.
  • Unity SCM’s approach to solving this problem by making it easy for supply chain operators to access the mission-critical information they need to do their job, without relying on anyone else.
  • The advantages and challenges of being an outsider in the supply chain industry, and how Amir’s background in data platforms and big data enabled him to bring a fresh perspective to solving long-standing problems.
  • The importance of asking potential customers to become paying customers, rather than just engaging in endless conversations or offering free beta access, in order to validate the value of your solution.
  • The concept of “phase transitions” in a startup’s lifecycle, where moments of success can be followed by periods of disequilibrium as different aspects of the business struggle to keep pace with growth.

Actionable
Takeaways

Assemble a Team of Complementary Founders for Support:

Amir emphasizes the value of having a group of fellow founders at a similar stage to serve as a support system, sounding board, and source of ideas. By surrounding yourself with people who intimately understand the challenges you're facing, you can avoid the sense of isolation that often comes with entrepreneurship and benefit from the collective wisdom of your peers. Founders should proactively seek out or create these peer groups to help them navigate the ups and downs of the journey.

Be Intentional About Turning Conversations into Customers:

In the early days of Unity SCM, Amir and his team focused on having in-depth conversations with potential customers to understand their pain points and design a solution that addressed their needs. However, they realized that these conversations alone wouldn't create a sustainable business – they needed to be intentional about asking these prospects to become paying customers. Founders should strike a balance between learning from potential users and actively converting them into revenue-generating accounts.

Embrace the Unglamorous Work Between Milestones:

While entrepreneurship is often portrayed as a series of glamorous milestones like fundraising rounds and big customer wins, Amir emphasizes that the reality is far less exciting. The majority of a founder's time is spent on the unglamorous work of building and iterating to reach the next stage of equilibrium. By focusing on the actions you can take to incrementally move the needle, you can avoid getting discouraged by the inevitable lows between the highs.

Identify Repeatable Patterns from Customer Successes:

Unity SCM's data-first approach has enabled the company to learn from its happy customers about new use cases and problems that its platform can solve. By digging deeper into these successes, Amir and his team have been able to identify repeatable patterns that they can leverage to expand their value proposition and attract similar customers. Founders should actively look for these commonalities among their best customers to drive more targeted and effective growth.

Stay True to Your Core Assumptions While Challenging Them:

Amir advises founders to be very intentional about the fundamental assumptions, decisions, and principles that guide their company's early direction. While it's important to constantly challenge these assumptions based on data and feedback, losing sight of them altogether can lead to wasted time and effort. Founders should strive to maintain a balance between staying true to their core beliefs and adapting them as needed to align with market realities.

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