Essential News no. 238
For the Week of 13-20 of August
Interview of the Week
With Ron Dayan Founder and President of the Strategic Consulting Firm Complete-e-Strategies (www.complete-e.com)
Complete-e-Strategies of New York is a strategic consulting firm in the fields of Internet and business surrogates, specializing in assisting veteran, well-established companies in developing online businesses.
Ron, what is a business surrogate?
The business surrogate model that we have developed presents an innovative entrepreneurial approach for traditional, established companies, enabling them to exploit their potential in order to establish new Internet ventures. The business surrogates we create provide comprehensive solutions to all the elements required in order to realize a venture.
This innovative strategy offers a two-phase business solution. The first phase of strategic consulting deals with identifying the company's un-exploited e-potential. Once identified, the consultant transforms the concept into a new business venture, and develops plans for its Internet launch.
During the second phase, called the surrogate phase, we harness our talents to bring the new entity into being. In order to prevent unnecessary delays, Complete-e's personnel serve as interim management, and guide the client through the entire surrogate period. In addition, while the strategic team serves as the temporary management team, they deal with contracting and selection of suppliers, with advertising firms and interactive development, as well as providing the necessary legal services and handling fiscal administration and recruitment of personnel.
Do you think this is an innovative approach to Internet ventures?
I certainly do. If in the past, a good idea and initial venture capital raising was sufficient to ensure success, this is no longer true today. After five years of Internet activity, the US is leading a process of re-evaluation, especially because the same idea may be under development simultaneously in several different locations. In addition, more capital is currently required in order to build a brand name. Consequently, the factors the distinguish between success and failure are assets: brand name, reputation, extensive business system, diversity of customers, suitable location and existing reliability. Today, there is still enough space open for new ventures, but a venture's primary success agents are ties to assets of established companies.
What is unique about the model proposed by Complete-e?
The main concept on which the method is founded is the connection with an existing, well-established and traditional company, and the objective is to identify its potential and establish a new venture alongside the company, in a field that is different from the company's traditional field of activity. This is an innovative approach and Complete-e is considered its conceiver and founder.
As far as I know, no other companies in the US or Israel operates using the method we propose. The traditional start-up method continues to be implemented, but its volume is growing smaller, and alongside the start-up companies are consulting firms awaiting approaches by clients.
Even an active and established company does not always have the capital required for new ventures.
True, a new Internet venture is a huge undertaking that requires companies to change their structure as well as the focus of their organizations. In addition to being open-minded and willing to change and regenerate, companies are required to invest capital in the venture, and we also propose financial assistance. Complete-e has the financial backing of the Sunrise Financial Group, a leader in the backing of advanced technology companies. Together with several other investors, Sunrise provides the capital necessary to promote our clients.
But beyond the financial aspect, our model is especially suitable for existing, well-established companies because these companies often lack the resources and staff needed to lead a new venture into the marketplace at the required pace. The option of using external resources during the core and concept verification stage is very important since it reduces the risks the company takes, buys the company time to recruit long-term professional employees and does not necessitate introduction of venture capital at a premature stage.
What is the consulting firm's end of the agreement with the mother company during the surrogate period?
During the surrogate period, Complete-e company allocates two to four of its employees, who accompany the process on a full time basis. At my side in the company are three partners, all with academic degrees and specialists in strategic consulting, who worked as a team at the American IllusionFusion company for three years, where they were involved in ventures and strategy in the field of Internet.
Each field of entrepreneur-ship requires different types of people with different types of skills. A team of four ensures comprehensive expertise in all fields, from an overview of the company in order to identify its potential to intervention and involvement in specific fields, such as negotiation management, investments, marketing and more. Nevertheless, even when each team member has his or her own field of specialization, they devote a significant amount of time to staff brainstorming meetings, where the creative abilities, skills and experience of each team member is brought to bear, and this increases the likelihood of consolidating an ultimate concept.
I decided to turn to the Israeli market for obvious reasons. Firstly, I am Israeli, and it was only natural that I approach this familiar market, to which I feel emotionally and culturally close. In addition, as an Israeli active in the American business world, I am proud and conscious of the respect and esteem with which Israelis are held in the field of Internet.
Doesn't remote control collaboration between an Israeli and American company pose obstacles?
The fact that Complete-e is located in the US and local companies operate in Israel does not have to be an impediment. Quite the contrary, it is an advantage, since any Internet idea must pass through the US. The initial application of the idea must be carried out in the US. An Israeli company marketing valuable a product or asset abroad should be especially interested in collaboration with Complete-e, that is located in New York and headed by an Israeli who is a proficient specialist in his field, who understands American game rules and has access to strategic partnerships in this market.
What is the connection between the Israeli Ron and the American businessman Dayan?
I admit that I attribute a considerable part of my business success in the US to my Israeli roots. The liberated, creative style of thought that I am so proud of its roots are undoubtedly due to my being Israeli. In order to succeed in the global Internet market, you must have an understanding that stems from more than one frame of reference, and I enjoy the fact that my first frame of reference is Israeli. Moreover, to this day I find that I am influenced by manners of thought I absorbed when I was a member of kibbutz Retamim in the Negev, and I apply these modes of thought. This is evidenced by the fact that in the company I founded, I established a personal development budget for each employee at his or her personal discretion, for the welfare and satisfaction of all the team members.
For additional information: Ron Dayan, firstname.lastname@example.org Complete-e Stratagies, Tel: ++1-212-832-1973