Parking Lot Consulting

Mark Lonergan, June 14th, 2011

I was at a pub­lic com­pa­ny last year, about to attend a Board meet­ing for a large pub­lic Sil­i­con Val­ley com­pa­ny. Most of the Board arrived short­ly after 8 AM in order to catch up with one anoth­er before the meet­ing start­ed prompt­ly at 8:30. Dur­ing the meet­ing, I had a chance to look out the expan­sive win­dows of the board room, right onto the com­pa­ny park­ing lot.

"It wasn’t until 10:00 that the last of the employee spaces were taken"

The first employ­ee not asso­ci­at­ed with the Board meet­ing arrived at 8:25. The sec­ond after 8:30. By 9AM the park­ing lot was less than half-full. It wasn’t until 10:00 that the last of the employ­ee spaces were tak­en by arriv­ing work­ers at the com­pa­ny HQ office. Since I had been there the night before, I knew that there was no one in the HQ build­ing who seemed to work past 6:15. No one.

In the 1950s, tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies could sur­vive like this because there were few com­peti­tors and all of them were based in the USA. In 2011, your com­peti­tors are every­where — and are work­ing 80 – 100 hour weeks to fig­ure out ways of com­pet­ing in your mar­ket. Good enough is not near­ly good enough.

What does your park­ing lot tell you?

Mark Lonergan

Founder & Managing Partner, Lonergan Partners

Specialties: Board & CEO placements


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