Although mentioned only briefly, the Apple Watch band connector may be the most...
Peter Thiel was not the only one inferring that certain tech company executives were taking illicit substances…
SAP Buys Concur Technologies for $8.3 Billion via The New York Times
In the olden days, technology companies that did not innovate simply went out of business. Now they just acquire other companies and sustain themselves on the largess of hefty maintenance agreements and annual recurring SaaS contracts. On the other hand, it does give smaller enterprise tech companies a convenient exit strategy, which is boon for the startup community.
The One Thing You’ll Never Get Any Value From via Gary Vaynerchuk
So true, it just stresses you out and does nothing to address the core issue you are complaining about. Reminds me of a point Simon Sinek touched on in his talk at Inbound earlier today on how worrying and other negative emotions starts to eat away at our health.
Burn Baby Burn via AVC
Yep, it is happening in the B2B SaaS sector as well and eventually there are no safety nets for these companies because they spent themselves out of existence. But what is driving founders to push the pedal and spend like no tomorrow? While Fred and Bill are not targeting valuations as the cause, in a frothy funding environment, entrepreneurs are under the belief (egged on by plenty of investors) that the money train will continue to roll on. It is the growth at all cost theory, and well, I remember that did not play out too well the first time we did this in tech fifteen years back.
Everyone is under the impression that it is raining money. That certainly is the case now, but nothing to bet the farm on long-term. I know it may sound all fuddy-duddy, but turning a profit and running a cash flow positive business is a good thing.
And one thing about sales & marketing. Achieving massive scale by blowing it out on sales & marketing is certainly one way to win a market. But you can also be much more intelligent about the process and executing with purpose and precision. That is what is going to win, more so than playing someone else’s game when they turn on the sales & marketing spigot.
Zero to One: Notes on Startups or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel via Tom Tunguz
This was a snippet from Tom’s blog post. Lean Startup and the startup world often say product wins and discount the value of marketing and sales. But in fact history has shown us that the best product does not necessarily win, it is the company with the best execution to take the market that wins. If you want to dominate a market, create a superior sales and marketing engine. The product will get there, but do not wait for the product to be “ready” or good enough.
No amount of process, people, or product will help if the messaging is not working
Good messaging is like good art; it is hard to define but you know it when you see it. And like art, it can be hit or miss, and more often on the miss side when it comes to early startups. Many folks attribute those startups that start getting traction and achieve scale as being startups that found product-market fit. While that is true, what got them there was the right message which is the crux of finding one’s product-market fit.
Ultimately you are creating a clear explanation as to what your company is and what problem it solves for the market. You unlock that riddle and you will find that you open a lot of doors. In that sense, your sales messaging is the master key for your particular market that works for the segments you have defined.
How does this differ from marketing messaging? It shouldn’t, at least by much. Marketing however has a much broader audience to reach out to, which includes partners, analysts, investors, competitors, industry groups, and even customers and broader market. They are the catch all and so they are coming from messaging at a brand level.
Most of what marketing creates should still align with what sales does, but sales are focused on one audience only; prospects. So the messaging needs to be crisp, clean, and jargon free. The point is that anything that creates questions or concerns or roadblocks in the minds of prospects should be removed, and that includes messaging that could likely confuse potential customers.
Messaging is such an important topic that I made the next NYC Enterprise Sales Meetup all about that one thing. It will be a panel of sales and marketing experts in the B2B enterprise market talking about and sharing their thoughts and tips for crafting great messaging. If you are struggling with or have questions about how to craft messaging or what you even say to prospects to get their attention, then this meetup at Work-Bench on Tuesday, September 23 6 PM is for you.
Before I close out this post though, I thought I would jot down a few thoughts of my own since I am going through the same challenges now with my startup. Here are some things to consider: