Touchy Feely Board Book

by | Feb 19, 2024 | Business Strategy



Amongst my favourite business books that I keep in my office to refer back to, there is a Touchy Feely Board Book.


Let me explain why that is.


The Hedgehog Concept


My favourite part of my favourite book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins is The Hedgehog Concept.


It is based on the Isaiah Berlin essay “The Hedgehog and the Fox” which divided the world into hedgehogs and foxes.


The fox knows many things but the hedgehog knows one big thing and it wins every time by rolling into a ball of spikes.


Hedgehogs concentrate on a single concept that represents the intersection of 3 circles:


  • What are you deeply passionate about?


  • What drives your economic engine?


  • What can you be the best in the world at?




I am deeply passionate about helping tech start-ups.


You can see that if you look at our Case Studies website page, where we have the Teddy Roosevelt quote:


“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care”.


We especially like working with purpose driven tech startups such as those in the climate tech and life science/medical device sectors which are really where our passion lies.


Economic Engine


How you make money from a business where all of the clients are tech start-ups is a big enough subject for an entire blog of its own.


For now, let’s just say that it requires a long term perspective and a lot of experience in picking winners.


Best in the World


It sounds a bit much to say that you are the best in the world especially when ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland) ethical rules say that


“𝘈 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘧𝘦𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘣𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘵𝘩𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘦:
𝘌𝘹𝘢𝘨𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘪𝘮𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺, 𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘲𝘶𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘳 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘢𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵”

But that is why having a niche is so important.


We can’t just say that we are the best accountant in the world.




But perhaps we can say that we are the best accountant in the world:


  • that is based in Scotland


  • and whose every client is a Scottish tech start-up


  • and that provides everything that a traditional accountant can


  • and everything that a fractional CFO can


  • and has a team of bookkeepers


  • and has specialist subcontractors that cover all aspects of tax, payroll and grant audits


  • and does R&D Tax Credit Claims for its clients


  • and limits the number of clients that they work with


  • and works primarily with climate tech and life sciences and medical device companies


  • and covers from pre seed to seed to Series A start-ups


  • and has staff who have all worked in industry and not just in an accounting practice so have been where their clients are now


  • and has been in business for over 20 years


That’s Not My Hedgehog

So that is why I have a Touchy Feely Board Book in my office called

“That’s not my hedgehog”.

To remind me of what matters when we decide whether or not a client is right for us:


Think that they know best and want to do everything themselves rather than delegate and take the advice of their team and advisors – THAT’S NOT MY HEDGEHOG 🦔


Fail to keep us informed and to treat us a member of their team – THAT’S NOT MY HEDGEHOG 🦔


Consider only the cost and not the value that their accountant can bring – THAT’S NOT MY HEDGEHOG 🦔


Instead we want to work with clients that are our Hedgehog:


  1. That we are passionate about.


  1. That focus on value rather than cost.


  1. That we can be the best in the world for.



Do you know what your Hedgehog looks like?