VMware has – possibly – the coolest skunk works system at any company. Skunk works projects are shared at a three day internal conference known as RADIO.
Employees across the company during the year work on projects and produce papers based on those projects whose only purpose is to share them at RADIO and possibly get funded later on.
Andrew Lambeth, one of our Fellow’s and all around amazing guy, gave an excellent talk titled P0 or die. The point of the talk was how to take any big idea that you had and get it funded.
The fundamental principle of the talk is that if you don’t make your big idea a p0, it will get deprioritized for other stuff. And the reason it got deprioritized is that its big, and it’s value proposition was unclear, and people didn’t understand what you were trying to accomplish.
And so here’s the checklist of things you need to do to make your big idea someone else’s p0.
- Describe it effectively in 5 minutes
- Make sure that success is easy to measure
- Your listeners must understand not agree.
- No slides.
- Describe it on a whiteboard
- Pitch at every opportunity, relentlessly
And the most important thing is step 7:
If you get no traction move on to the next big idea.
Sometimes a big idea’s time has not come, and you just need to let it go.
I liked the talk so much that I decided to make a t-shirt.