As someone who reports on businesses or discusses them regularly, you know that business is a fast-paced world. It can be difficult to stay on top of your game. Start-ups disappear as quickly as they rise up, funding rounds and acquisitions can happen without advanced notice, and new products and technologies appear daily. It seems nearly impossible to be thoroughly and regularly up-to-date on newsworthy start-ups.
But is it really? Zirra provides profiles of private companies with accurate information, insights, and analyses. In this post I’m going to highlight a few of the many insights you can gain by using Zirra company profiles which you can employ during interviews.
In case you missed it, Oracle bought Ravello Systems last week for an estimated $500M. What makes this particularly interesting? The Zirra analysts and algorithm estimated its exit valuation to be $450M-$500M, putting Zirra right on point. This is just another indicator of the solid and insightful information found on Zirra.
But, the question still stands - can looking at a Zirra profile really prepare you for an interview?
At Zirra, we would enthusiastically say “Yes!” and we can do so from experience. Recently, Zirra co-founder Aner Ravon had a last minute interview with a German TV station about a number of German start-ups. An hour before the interview, Aner was “sweating bullets because [he] didn’t know anything about the companies.” All it took was his reading through the company profiles on Zirra for him to confidently and accurately speak about them. “The fact that I could prepare for a TV interview in 15 minutes was miraculous,” described Aner, looking back at the experience. After the interview, the reporter told Aner that he “nailed it.”
How exactly did he do it? I’m going to go through some core elements of a Zirra company profile which explain how he got accurate information to engage in an interview about start-ups he knew nothing about an hour before the interview.
State of the Start-Up
First off, the profile provides numerous details from the basic facts of a company - including where the company is based, the number of employees, the company’s business model to things such as recent news articles and links to their social media sites. The basics give you a solid foundation to work off of, which enables you to better understand the business.
At this point, the Zirra profile gives you big picture insights by providing a thorough background on the start-up’s current state of affairs. It provides information about whether the company is in the middle of a funding round, whether they’re preparing for an exit or IPO, or if they’re currently hiring to prepare for a big push in order to release a new product or service. With these details, you can prepare specific questions about the company’s overall journey, where the company is going, and their plans for the future.
Competitive Position in the Market
Zirra analysts pay special attention to the market a company is in, as well as to the competition a company faces. The Zirra profile will tell you if the market is declining, stable, or even if it is predicted to boom in the next few years, as with Internet of Things (IoT). The profile even might tell you how the company plans to compensate for or accommodate the predicted change in the market.
Additionally, the Zirra company profile shows how the company is competitively positioned in the market - be it leading or lagging. Should you ask how the company is planning to surge ahead of its competitors with new pricing, a new product, or a new market? Or has its leadership in the market declined recently prompting you to ask how it’s dealing with the sudden influx of new competitors? Links to competitors’ Zirra profiles are on each company page.
Strengths, Weaknesses, and Everything In-Between
Analysts also provide personalized points of strength and indicators of things to take a second look at for each start-up. Perhaps they have really fascinating proprietary technology, they’ve quickly become a leader in the market with an innovative product, they’re offering their service at a fraction of their competitor’s price, or maybe their key management is stacked with experts in the field. These are all points which you can put in your toolbox when preparing to intelligently discuss a company.
Alternatively, there are also points which are potential weaknesses. They are included as indicators that something warrants a second glance. Potential weaknesses include observations ranging from the type of business model, the crowdedness of the market, or significantly higher prices than a competitor to things such as an investor having a criminal record, or the company having raised $500M in funding without having yet produced a product. These insights of strengths and potential weaknesses are great topics of discussion that allow you to immediately dive into a meaningful conversation about a company, and position yourself as an asset to the interaction.
Talk Intelligently Every Time
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the company you’re working on now at Zirra and search for the company you’re working on - it takes just seconds to search for it. Instead of spending your time doing hours of research about a company, let us do the heavy work for you. Zirra company profiles are filled with unique and insightful data ready to inspire top-level interview questions. And, if you’re interviewing or interested in a company that Zirra has yet to cover, we’ll gladly cover it for you within 24-48 hours. We’re on top of our game so that you can be on top of yours when it matters most.