How this CEO Used a Focused, Problem Finding Approach to Grow w/Grant Morgan, R-Zero CEO Ep#131
Grant Morgan is the Co-founder & CEO of R-Zero, a biosafety tech company delivering a higher standard of human health via safer indoor spaces. The company has grown rapidly, jumping to over 100 employees since being founded in 2020.
Prior to founding R-Zero, Grant was an engineer at Abbott, and a VP of Product & Engineering at iCracked, which was acquired by Allstate in 2019.
On this episode of the Strategy & Leadership Podcast, Grant joins us to discuss solving problems by starting with a need, the importance of failure, structuring a value stream, and more.
Listen to the audio version here, or watch the video at the bottom of the page:
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Here's a breakdown of the conversation:
Being clear your 'why'
Grant shares the story of why R-Zero exists, who they're in business to serve, and what customer needs they are meeting as a company. They are a biosafety technology company that was started in the middle of the pandemic to help workplaces create safer indoor spaces, with the ultimate goal of reducing sick days.
By modernizing the archaic industry of disinfection that has been dominated by commodity chemical manufacturers, they are providing a clear solution to organizations trying to adjust to the pandemic and future pandemics. By having the clear ultimate goal or 'why' of reducing sick days, they are providing a very real ROI for their target customer.
Starting with a need and solving a problem
Grant explains how you need to be focusing on a need in order to demand money from your customers. You can't make up problems that don't exist, and hope to create matching solutions.
In Grant and R-Zero's case, they focused on the need for human health, especially in the pandemic times. From there, they really dug into that need and learned as much as they can about the industry and it's current solutions. Eventually they landed on the problem they were uniquely positioned to solve - decreasing sick days.
Structuring a value stream
Grant recognized that R-Zero's potential was so much bigger than COVID alone. When it came to developing the value stream, he says the important part is focusing on your north star - in R-Zero's case, reducing sick days. If you can prove your value or your ROI, then it becomes a no-brainer for your customers, like in R-Zero's case.
Then they turned to the products. By really understanding the problem of disease transmission, all the ways it can happen and how it can be mitigated, they were able to make the right additions and improvements to their product line.
Importance of failing and responding
Grant credits much of his success to admitting that he doesn't know everything. He talks about the importance of failing, learning from mistakes and responding quickly to mistakes. The real skill is finding out exactly when you're wrong and being able to diagnose the root cause.
From there it's about finding something new to try and moving on. He mentions the bullets and canon balls analogy from the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Fail often and cheaply with bullets that you can measure. Then put the resources behind your canon balls.