If you build it…  they won’t come Achieving Adoption
If you build it, they will come Pitch The community will “just happen”.
If you build it, they will come Vendor belief Sell  the customer,  then  abandon  the customer.
If you build it, they will come Vendor belief Renewals happen automagically aka  “Free money!”
If you build it, they will come Truth Nobody $%!#ing cares about you.
If you build it, they will come Truth Customers keep paying only  for what they use.
If you build it, they will come. <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add value or move on. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><l...
If you build it, they will come <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visible pulse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Show ot...
If you build it, they will come <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t sell  walled gardens . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul>...
Shiny! Pitch Look at our  shiny  new feature!
Shiny! Vendor belief More shiny features = More buzz! More features = More sales
Shiny! Truth Early stage Shininess attracts early adopters *  who help you  refine  your product. * Your friends and their...
Shiny! Truth You can’t sell on features alone. (The feature treadmill is  price war  with  escalating  dev  costs  => Bank...
Shiny! Truth Later stage Reference customers *  who actually use and love your business create  traction . * Your customer...
Shiny! Truth Customers who buy on the whole customer experience see your  value , and  stick!  => Success!
Shiny! <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create  spectacles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shiny  features  for techi...
Shiny! <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish  relationships . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Techies create an  ...
I am not a number Pitch We have great customer support!
I am not a number Vendor belief We have  customer support! outsourced  automated unskilled cheap
I am not a number Truth Customers that  complain are customers that  care .
I am not a number <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Respond  to them. Immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up  to see if ...
I am not a number <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Blog , converse, involve, decide  together . </li></ul><ul><li>Publish...
Our customers love us Pitch Our customers love us. We have great testimonials!
Our customers love us Vendor belief Customer testimonials are  just  marketing collateral. (Look how awesome I am!)
Our customers love us Truth Customers love referring you because  it makes  them   look smart.
Our customers love us Truth Love is a two way street.
Our customers love us <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage testimonials… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask  for them! </li>...
Our customers love us <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>…  as the start of a strong relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You...
We are all cogs in a machine <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Add value  outside  your main business. </li></ul><ul><ul><...
Summary <ul><li>Commit. </li></ul><ul><li>Painkillers, not vitamins. </li></ul><ul><li>Visible pulse. </li></ul><ul><li>In...
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If you build it... they won't come: Achieving adoption

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Most vendors of enterprise social software have sales pitches that are basically BS. Based on my experience, I explain what is going through the vendors' heads, and then I go through what you're supposed to do if you want to build an actually profitable company.

Presented at EnterpriseCamp, Toronto, May 29, 2007.

Published in: Economy & Finance, Business

If you build it... they won't come: Achieving adoption

  1. 1. If you build it… they won’t come Achieving Adoption
  2. 2. If you build it, they will come Pitch The community will “just happen”.
  3. 3. If you build it, they will come Vendor belief Sell the customer, then abandon the customer.
  4. 4. If you build it, they will come Vendor belief Renewals happen automagically aka “Free money!”
  5. 5. If you build it, they will come Truth Nobody $%!#ing cares about you.
  6. 6. If you build it, they will come Truth Customers keep paying only for what they use.
  7. 7. If you build it, they will come. <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add value or move on. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Painkillers , not vitamins. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Low hanging fruit. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Committed founder </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. If you build it, they will come <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Visible pulse </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Show others ( like me ) using it </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1:1 mentoring, buddy system </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Day-glo orange invite button </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. If you build it, they will come <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t sell walled gardens . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Build along intersecting workflows. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email is the still the killer app. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Open the interface </li></ul></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Shiny! Pitch Look at our shiny new feature!
  11. 11. Shiny! Vendor belief More shiny features = More buzz! More features = More sales
  12. 12. Shiny! Truth Early stage Shininess attracts early adopters * who help you refine your product. * Your friends and their friends
  13. 13. Shiny! Truth You can’t sell on features alone. (The feature treadmill is price war with escalating dev costs => Bankruptcy)
  14. 14. Shiny! Truth Later stage Reference customers * who actually use and love your business create traction . * Your customers and their friends
  15. 15. Shiny! Truth Customers who buy on the whole customer experience see your value , and stick! => Success!
  16. 16. Shiny! <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create spectacles. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Shiny features for techies. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Awesome case studies for customers. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compelling stories for media. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Shiny! <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Establish relationships . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Techies create an after market . </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Customers evangelize you to their market. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Media amplify your voice in a market. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  18. 18. I am not a number Pitch We have great customer support!
  19. 19. I am not a number Vendor belief We have customer support! outsourced automated unskilled cheap
  20. 20. I am not a number Truth Customers that complain are customers that care .
  21. 21. I am not a number <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Respond to them. Immediately. </li></ul><ul><li>Follow up to see if things went well. </li></ul><ul><li>Phone them . Proactively . Now. </li></ul><ul><li>Feedback everywhere . (e.g. logout) </li></ul>
  22. 22. I am not a number <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Blog , converse, involve, decide together . </li></ul><ul><li>Publish their feedback and act on it. </li></ul><ul><li>Solicit user studies . Fix breakdowns. </li></ul><ul><li>Customer advisory board. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Our customers love us Pitch Our customers love us. We have great testimonials!
  24. 24. Our customers love us Vendor belief Customer testimonials are just marketing collateral. (Look how awesome I am!)
  25. 25. Our customers love us Truth Customers love referring you because it makes them look smart.
  26. 26. Our customers love us Truth Love is a two way street.
  27. 27. Our customers love us <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage testimonials… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for them! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thank your customers! Profusely! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t correct them! </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Our customers love us <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>… as the start of a strong relationship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Your customers are people too. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tell your customers’ stories . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring your customers together. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help them, unexpectedly . </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. We are all cogs in a machine <ul><li>Homerun </li></ul><ul><li>Add value outside your main business. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Add partners where you can’t add value. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have a cause . (Pick an enemy.) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>You + customers make the world better, how? </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Summary <ul><li>Commit. </li></ul><ul><li>Painkillers, not vitamins. </li></ul><ul><li>Visible pulse. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in spectacular relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a cause. Improve the world. </li></ul>
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