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

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

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