The Reality of the Service and Telco Businesses

A while ago, at a WAPA meeting, Eugene talked about the reality of running a telecoms infrastructure business: It’s a capital intensive business. It will always need more and more money to roll out networks, upgrade and maintain infrastructure.

Read: It’s fun building railroads, but you need very deep pockets.

Then, a while ago I had lunch with somebody running a web dev business. He was frustrated with the operational challenges of his services business.

So, thinking about the wisdom above, I told him.. the reality of running a services business is that you will always be over-extended and you will probably always struggle to meet expectations, especially in growth phases. I think service businesses initially succeed because of some magic the founder(s) have. When you start employing people that magic does not transfer easily and the founders will probably become frustrated with knowledge transfer and hand holding. Often the founders will remain in the loop.. as much as they try to create Chinese walls and move to other roles in the business.

If I had to choose, I’d rather spend somebody else’s money building railroads (-;