Start-Ups and Souffle

By Lisa Brockway, Dec 9th, 2012

souffle2I was recently talking to an old friend about TrialReach when he suddenly interrupted: “Listen, your company is doing great, what are you complaining about? You’re expecting it to run when it’s only supposed to be taking baby steps!”

Part of what my friend said was right – TrialReach is doing great. This year we’ve been growing steadily in all areas: trials listed, patients connected to researchers, partners and clients, revenues, visitors, order size, team, countries where we operate, Twitter followers, Facebook “Likes”, and so on. Since the summer, we even managed to turn out profits month after month – a very rare (and happy) circumstance for most start-ups.

But that was all my friend was right about; TrialReach, as all other start-ups, has little to do with walking babies.

Making souffle

The best analogy I found so far for running a start-up is that it’s like making souffle… without the recipe. (If you have no clue of what souffles are like, here’s a top-notch recipe as a bonus).

You know you’ll need eggs but you don’t know how many, or when you’re supposed to add them. You know you’ll need flour but you don’t know how much or what type. Your mix is looking too runny? Add another table spoon of flour. Too bland? Add a pinch of pepper or nutmeg.

Correcting the mix is almost unavoidable, nobody gets it right at the first try. However, it’s always good to remember that if you’re too far from the start, you may be better off throwing away the whole thing and try baking something else another day…

The TrialReach Mix

After correcting our mix several times, the TrialReach souffle is now looking, smelling, and tasting great; we are watching it rise and can’t wait to eat it when it’s ready.

More than complaining, I’m just standing vigilant and close to the oven, knowing that even the best chef can be left with a deflated pudding if somoene opens the door too early.






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