A most excellent missive!
December 19, 2008 by Dave Haynes
Dave, thanks for putting the article out there! – tm
What they really do #6, 10, 11 What is the real motivation of the provider? As a digital plumber I have pulled out and replaced the many of the best of the top applications with another top notch competitor’s product. Problem solved, without ever having to touch anything else. The turnkey solution and price sounded great from the sales guys, but it simply was never going to succeed. ASK DEEP, HARD, PROBING QUESTIONS? ASK WHY? ALL THE TIME!
Keep track of every sales or feature point and know how it relates to me? If it doesn’t make sense then assume its not for you and strike it off your list.
99% of all cool features go unused. Although, I really like the one guy’s green smiley faces for all happy network player nodes. Puts people in a happy place 🙂
Having been an operator myself last century, the best phrase I like to hear from my staff was, “Push button – get check”, knowing they were confident content would always play. You want to be in that comfort place too.
What’s your vertical #12 We have witnessed the glories of success and the crazy self destruction of those that simply don’t know their marketplace. There is good reason why Omnivex, Capital, Scala or Broadsign have excelled in their market space. They know their customer. Of the expanding universe of application providers, there are less than a handful that have successfully spanned multiple large verticals and continue to remain viable. There is also cultural identity and relationship, but that’s for another day. Upstarts should acknowledge that particular niche that picks them and if they can make a nice profit, learn why, and be the best in that space.
16a. Stinkin’ Cheap Software – Churn happens. Today there are some really good choices that are chomping at the big boys turf. Its about the lowest cost of ownership. Features only need to reflect business needs for the next 36 months or whenever the technology refresh cycle is planned. Ask questions. Are you personally willing to put your job on the line that they will be around in 36 months? If so, then its not such a stupid a decision. There is also cultural identity and relationship thing again.
17a. Network heal thyself – Hallelujah! Avoid the exotics. Does Sneakernet work when all else fails?
20. What does your exit strategy look like. There is no shortage of “failed to plan” mistakes that creates opportunity for others. Why would anyone want to exit? A few appropriate Murphy’s laws from battle: -Professionals are predictable. Its the amateurs that are dangerous. -Know that whatever you touch, it was made by the lowest bidder.