It’s not easy for an entrepreneur and innovator of a new technology to get the selling going at the rate one wants. After going through the creative and demanding process of deveoloping something that will radically change how companies work it’s easy to think that the hard part is over. What still remains is to get companies to understand the customer benefits and the new possibilities this new technology brings and how much time it saves and/or revenues it increases. There is a large number of exciting companies which have failed to succeed because they did not have the right strategy to bring their great innovations to market.
One problem is that most larger companies are no early adopters and if you, as a start-up company, don’t have numbers to show how amazing your technology really is then decisions about a possible cooperation will, unfortunately, not be prioritized.
If you take a look at some of the Swedish companies who have succeeded in taking their innovative technology to the market one can see a clear pattern. The Swedish business intelligence wonder QlikTech, possibly more known as QlikView, faced the same problem as most other start-ups do; How can we get our technology to market?
What it’s really all about, and what QlikTech did, was to make it as easy as possible for the (potential) customer. If it’s easy to understand and easy to deploy then it’s also easy for the (potential) customer to make the decision. Another great example of this is the online music service Spotify which, even though it focuses on B2C, shows how amazingly fast a company can grow when it makes the technology understandable and accessible.
Based on my own experiences and after having listened to and understood other companies such as the one’s mentioned above, I’ve come to the conclusion that you need to commoditize and industrialize your offer.
By commoditize I mean that you need to package your technology in a way which explicitly explain what it does, how it does it and what customer benefit it provides. With industrialization, in this context, I mean that you need to make your product/technology available on many different platforms and also make it easy and fast to implement.
I think the two most important questions one have to be able to answer is: How can we make it as easy as possible for the customer to start using our technology? How can we make our technology accessible for as many customers as possible?