The End of the Independent Software Vendor

From enterprise software to mobile devices, rarely, if ever, does one company deliver the whole product.

The evolution of computing, and specifically software, as an industry can be seen as having moved through three major phases: first, a period dominated by industry giants like IBM, Honeywell and Burroughs, providing fully-integrated products to fully captive customers; second, the personal computer revolution of the 1980s, a time when discreet layers, or stacks, of hardware and software emerged, available from different vendors, yet tightly coupled to create end products; and third and presently, the emergence of technology ecosystems, like those of Apple, LAMP or Microsoft — entire communities and constellations from which customers acquire solutions, in part or in whole, locally or in the cloud.

5 Keys to Better Biz Dev

Business development is often said to be equal parts art and science, but that view can be used as cover for poor process and the unpredictable outcomes that result. It’s true that biz dev require flexibility and creativity, but planning and process are crucial to increasing the likelihood of success.

Startups, Channels and the Importance of Traction

I recently met with the founders of a promising new SaaS startup. After listening to their pitch and a bit of Q&A, we began talking about growth strategies. They asked how soon we could begin helping them build a channel program. They have a promising product with a large, well defined market and a clear value proposition. Their packaging and pricing have been iterated and refined considerably. There’s just one problem: no customers.