We knew it. The sellers don’t really know What Buyers Want. TrustRadius has conducted a detailed study on buying and selling of Business Technology and surveyed 941 people – 712 Buyers and 229 vendor marketers and salespeople and figured “they don’t see eye to eye!”.
“Victory awaits the one who has everything in order. People call it good luck. While defeat always follows bad preparations and people call it bad luck.”Ronald Amundsen
Erling Kagge is the first man to complete the Three Poles Challenge. He walked to all the three poles. “- North Pole in 1990, the South Pole in 1993, and the summit of Mount Everest (the “third pole”) in 1994”.
Tomasz Tunguz is the one you turn to for analysis when watershed events happen. Salesforce Tableau acquisition is one such event in a string of similar ones (although the most expensive by value by far) playing out this month. It follows Google’s Looker acquisition and Sisense’s acquisition of Periscope Data.
Lindsey Rogers Cook, editor for Digital Storytelling and Training at the New York Times wrote this very interesting piece on How We Helped Our Reporters Learn to Love Spreadsheets. One of the key reasons Journalists became journalists was because they were not interested in Math. Or so we thought. But it is now apparent that an increasing number of journalistic disciplines are dependent on data and those who control the narrative – governments, politicians and corporations all want to twist those numbers in support of their own agendas. It is akin to the earlier question of whether Journalists should learn to code. While the answer to that was a resounding “No” , those who did learn to code went on to “have mashed databases to discover wrongdoing, designed immersive experiences that transport readers to new places and created tools that change the way we work.”
It is clear. Everything legacy, every business, every process will be disrupted. So the choice is yours if you will be the one to be disrupted or you will be the disruptor. The disproportionate value that the disruptor harnesses is clear (Uber, AirBnB, Dropbox, Zappos). What makes someone to become the disruptor? Sometimes it is by accident, but more often than not it is because the disruptor decides it was enough of the status quo and acts.
When asked whether he saw any pattern in the recently listed software co’s wrt sales efficiencies Tomasz Tunguz found one –
“All of these businesses sell bottom up with small initial ACVs that grow dramatically. Atlassian, Zoom, Twilio, Slack, New Relic, Elastic. All of them target small groups of users within larger organization who introduce the vendor. Over time, usage grows, accounts expand. Some acquire through open source, others through virality (Zoom).”
I was reading this article by Jackie MacMullan on the ESPN site – on how elite athletes cope or learn to cope with high stress linked to split second (guaranteed) performance. What makes them falter (mostly overthinking that disconnects their instinctive muscle memory from the last at hand) and how they make a come back from defeat. The article is a must read to see how the top athletes develop regimes to tackle stress under pressure. And it should give Founders a lot of clarity about how to deal with stress in our own play fields.
Like my post yesterday about the must have strategic plan which is simple and easily measurable, I found a 2013 post by David Cummings on SAAS Metrics dashboard. With all the discussions I have with SAAS founders, it is the rare ones who had these numbers on their finger tips or those who are measuring them at least on a monthly cadence.
Earlier this month David Cummings raised this question in his blog On Startups – Why the lack of a Strategic plan?
I was meeting with Rahul Gupta, a prolific angel investor in New Delhi and he echoed very similar thoughts. Why is it that founders are not able to articulate their priorities in a simple 5 quarterly targets format? Many a times, according to Rahul, the fact that there is no-one outside the team to whom the team/founder is accountable, makes the difference.
The story of Visicalc as written by Tim Harford in bbc.com in a very recent article is indeed eye-opening. Not only because it tells the story of the first sensation in business software but because he shows how it showed the earliest signs of destruction of jobs by technology. And then creation of new ones.