Hitting It Big In The Enterprise
Editor?s Note: Alexander Haislip is a marketing executive with cloud-based server automation startup ScaleXtreme and the author of Essentials of Venture Capital.
Silicon Valley is its own best friend when it comes to booking sales. The first dollar in the door for most startups comes from another startup. That?s because startups are always seeking a competitive edge, they can make purchasing decisions fast and are willing to accept the risk of buying from another small company. It works great for most companies in most tech verticals most of the time.
But it also induces market myopia. Selling solutions only to startups slows your growth by limiting your addressable market. That may not seem like a problem if you?ve got customers like Zynga, but even the most amazing and fast-growing startups have but a fraction of the budget of big established corporations outside of Silicon Valley.
Waiting for your startups customers to get big is not a viable growth strategy. If you truly want to hit the accelerator, you have to sell to big, established corporations?especially the ones outside of the Valley.
That?s hard work. It requires a lot of traveling and a lot of listening. Big corporations aren?t particularly good at explaining specifically what they want and the individual requirements will vary from industry to industry. But each potential enterprise customer expects two things from a Silicon Valley startup: a path to the future and a solution for the here and now.
Consider the market for computing power. Each big buyer we talk to wants to start using public cloud computing. They cite some of the regular reasons you?d expect to hear: Flexibility, self-service, cost. Everybody knows the benefits. But they?re acutely aware of the costs. For them, innovation comes at the cost of management complexity. Considering the public cloud? Better begin reading SLAs and start looking for a VP of Cloud to run the thing. Then there?s the issue of making sure the public cloud can work in tandem with the