BenchStrength2We recently had a discussion in an attempt to clarify when a startup transitions to becoming a young company. Our amazing Evangelist Michael Witham did some research and found no cut and dried definition. Based on my day yesterday, I believe it is when you have something I would call “bench strength.”

Trace back to Monday morning. I was on a call with a potential business partner when I found out my red-eye to Boston was cancelled. So much for my planned schedule; I had a full day of meetings in Phoenix, a full day of meetings in Boston, and a flight sandwiched in the middle.

I immediately went on Expedia and was shocked by my alternative flight offerings. Not only did most of the flights have multiple stops en route, but more than a handful would have taken me through cities in the deep freeze (the screen was littered with weather advisories) and forced early morning meeting cancellations in Boston. I looked on Southwest and sure enough there was a flight: one-stop in Houston with a Monday night arrival. It was cheaper than all the alternatives but left in less than two hours!

Here comes the bench strength – I was able to email our Ops Specialist, Becky Johnston (newest Traker addition and making our lives so much easier) about my predicament: all Phoenix meetings cancelled, conference call to be chaired by someone else, hotel in Boston for when I landed…the list goes on. At the same time, I reached out to our COO and Michael to work on the projects that I was supposed to do in the office.

Everyone helped while I was on my flight without Wi-Fi (when did Wi-Fi become the norm?).  I arrived that evening in Boston without a hiccup, ready for my week in the frozen east. THAT is bench strength; something we did not have as a startup.

Why was my flight cancelled? I was flying JetBlue and the news reported that they cancelled all their flights to allow their crews to rest. Many flights were cancelled nationwide due to weather but not a lack of personnel. That does not appear to be bench strength. That said, I am not advocating JetBlue fly with tired crews!

I was sent an email much after the fact (and I received a call at 10 pm MST) that suggested I take a flight on Wednesday night instead. Let’s hope the advertised relaxing of the refund policies are true because I want my money back.

So Traklight is now a young company! Entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs. #onwards.