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jerryking : gulliver_strategies   11

How non-engineer Stewart Butterfield reached top of Silicon Valley
JUNE 21, 2019 | Financial Times | by Richard Waters in San Francisco.

Silicon Valley loves its engineer-founders. They are members of the region’s highest caste, the entrepreneurs trusted to turn bits and bytes into the next hit digital products, and the people venture capitalists most like to back.

Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and chief executive of the workplace chat app Slack, is not one of them. He stands out as a philosophy major in a start-up world full of software engineers, a non-techie who has made it to the top of the tech heap......Slack’s listing on the New York Stock Exchange this week has cemented his reputation as one of the Valley’s most creative product designers — and values his own stake in the company at $1.6bn.

“He is your quintessential, product-oriented founder-leader,” ......In a nod to an unconventional streak in Mr Butterfield’s personality that separates him from the herd, Mr Levie adds: “He has just the right level of quirkiness.”.....Butterfield got a philosophy degree at the University of Victoria, followed by a master of philosophy at Cambridge, before being bitten by the internet bug at the end of the 1990s and moving to Silicon Valley........Pressed on how he can withstand the Microsoft onslaught, Mr Butterfield defaults to the quiet, analytical self-assurance. “There has been a long history of the small, focused start-up taking on the large incumbent with multiple lines of business and being successful” — starting, he added, with a small and scrappy Microsoft itself taking on the giant IBM.
artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  CEOs  chat  craftsmanship  engineering  Flickr  founders  Gulliver_strategies  IBM  Microsoft  mobile_applications  product_design  product-orientated  quirky  Richard_Waters  Silicon_Valley  Slack  start_ups  Stewart_Butterfield  workplaces 
june 2019 by jerryking
How Small Companies Can Get Big, Fast
Apr 10, 2014, 07:00am
How Small Companies Can Get Big, Fast

Michael Skok

What’s in it For Them?

One mistake small companies make when they get the chance to approach a larger company is that they make the conversation about them, the little guy. They begin by asking how the large company can help them sell their product or service when it should be the other way around. The best way to make a partnership pitch is by approaching a company and telling them what you’re going to do for them.

So flip all the points above and ask yourself how you’ll pitch to your potential partner to ensure this is a must-have partnership for them.

Usually, one of the key benefits a large company will want to realize is competitive advantage from faster time-to-market and more nimble development. Start there and figure out how you can build out things like opportunities to increase average revenue per user or ARPU for them. But be prepared to prove it and don’t rush it. Like any relationship it needs to be two way.
Gulliver_strategies  large_companies  minimum_viable_products  partnerships  product-market_fit  serving_others  small_business  value_propositions 
december 2018 by jerryking
7 Closing Strategies to Double Your Average Sale Size
August 11 | Entrepreneur Magazine | Marc Wayshak - GUEST WRITER
Your success depends on closing bigger, better deals. Put your time and energy into prospects with the power to make large investments and introduce you to others who can do the same.

1. Get over your fear.
Many salespeople are simply too scared to sell to huge companies...... large companies face the same problems as your small customers do, just on a bigger scale. This means they need a bigger version of your solution -- and they have the budget to match. Get over your fear.

2. Stand apart from the crowd.
High-level prospects hear from an average of 10 salespeople every day. If you do what everyone else is doing, you’ll never get through to them or earn their trust. To double your average sales size, you must be intentional about standing apart from the crowd in your industry. While others pitch, you should ask questions. While others are enthusiastic, you should be low-key and genuine. While your competitors focus on their products, you should focus on your prospect’s deepest frustrations and show how you can solve them.

3. Stop selling to low-level prospects.
Selling low-level prospects harms your close rate and decreasing your average sale size. Low-level prospects simply don’t have the power or budget to tell you “yes." They’re not the decision-makers. If you want to increase the size of your sales, stop selling to prospects who lack the budget to invest in your solution.

4. Sell to decision-makers.
It’s a best practice to head straight to the top of the food chain and sell to directors, vice presidents, and C-level executives. They have the power and budget to say “yes” to your offer. If someone refers you back down the chain, you’re still landing an introduction to the right person -- by his or her boss, no less.

5. Stop cold-calling.
Cold calls are miserable. Try implementing a sales-prospecting campaign. Plan your calls, letters and emails as follow-ups to a valuable letter or package you send via FedEx. This could be a special report, unique sample or company analysis. These intentional, repeated touches over a series of months will set you up as a familiar name by the time you actually get your prospect on the phone. When a huge sale is on the line, you can afford to invest time and money to catch a single prospect’s attention.

6. Know the decision-making process.
If you’ve closed only small deals at small companies in the past, you might be accustomed to working with just one or two decision-makers at a time. In large corporations, the decision-making process can be much more complicated. One of the biggest mistakes salespeople make is failing to understand the decision-making process. Get a grasp of this early on, and you can stay in front of the right people, build value for them and close your sales at higher prices.

7. Leverage sales for introductions.
When you close one large sale at a big organization, don’t stop there. Ask new customers for introductions to others in their company or network who could benefit from your offering. You have nothing to lose by asking for introductions, but failure to do so will cost you massive opportunity and revenue.
Gulliver_strategies  sales  fear  large_companies  differentiation  sales_cycle  buyer_choice_rejection  cold_calling  referrals  prospects  JCK  executive_management  campaigns  Aimia  LBMA  strategic_thinking  close_rate  questions  thinking_big  enterprise_clients  C-suite  low-key  authenticity  doubling  the_right_people 
august 2017 by jerryking
Big Companies Should Collaborate with Startups
Eddie YoonSteve Hughes
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

Growth is increasingly hard to come by, so large companies are increasingly looking to entrepreneurs to help them find it. In the food and beverage category, growth came from 20,000 small companies outside of the top 100, which together saw revenue grow by $17 billion dollars.
Despite that aggregate revenue growth, not every startup is successful — in fact, the vast majority will fail.

Ironically, startups and established companies would both improve their success rates if they collaborated instead of competed. Startups and established companies bring two distinct and equally integral skills to the table. Startups excel at giving birth to successful proof of concepts; larger companies are much better at successfully scaling proof of concepts.

Startups are better at detecting and unlocking emerging and latent demand. But they often stumble at scaling their proof of concept, not only because they’re often doing it for the first time, but also because the skills necessary for creating are not the same as scaling. Startups must be agile and adapt their value proposition several times until they get it right. According to Forbes, 58% of startups successfully figure out a clear market need for what they have.

In contrast, big companies often end up launching things they can make, not what people want.

Successful collaboration between startups and established companies must go beyond financial deals: it must be personal and mission-oriented.....areas of emerging and latent demand are often highly concentrated.... spend time physically in hotbeds specific to your sector. ....met people...walk the aisles ...... explore up and coming datasets. SPINs is a retail measurement company that covers the natural and organic grocers. Yet too many companies don’t even bother to acquire this data because they dismiss it as too small to matter.....Just as important as personal knowledge are personal relationships. ...spend time with customers....skew more toward emerging customers......connect with key people who have tight connections with both startups and established companies in your industry.....collaboration needs to be mission-oriented, meaning it has to be focused on something larger than financial success. ......Executives who wish to tap into the growth of these smaller companies will find that having a big checkbook is not going to be enough, and that waiting for an investment banker to bring them deals is the wrong approach. A mercenary mindset will only go so far. When big companies try to engage with startups, a missionary mindset will create better odds of success.
large_companies  Fortune_500  brands  scaling  start_ups  collaboration  face2face  personal_meetings  personal_touch  information_sources  personal_relationships  personal_knowledge  HBR  growth  funding  M&A  success_rates  latent  hidden  proof-of-concepts  mindsets  missionaries  mission-driven  Mondolez  cultural_clash  Gulliver_strategies 
march 2017 by jerryking
Why Small Businesses Are Starting to Win Again - The New Yorker
JANUARY 24, 2015
Small Is Bountiful
BY TIM WU

Farmers who sell, say, organic or free-range foods, cannot hope to compete based on price. Instead, they try to create consumers who won’t eat chicken produced by big companies for moral, health, or aesthetic reasons...The true-differentiation strategy seems to work best when scale, despite its efficiencies, also introduces blind spots in areas such as customer service, flavor, curation, or other intangibles not entirely consistent with mass production and standardization. Where getting big begins to hurt the product, small can be bountiful.

=====================================
it is a two-part problem. No. 1, the consumer and competitive marketplace is definitely shifting. For example, quality has evolved beyond just good ingredients, preparation and packaging. Basic quality is a given now; many consumers are looking for something extra: less mass-produced, natural, local.

No. 2, iconic food companies and their mature brands are not responding effectively. Large, established food companies and their brands are being managed as portfolios of revenue and profit streams with a short-term financial orientation, and not as companies that produce food products. Small companies, on the other hand, are being created and managed by people with a food orientation and passion.
small_business  size  scaling  Tim_Wu  Peter_Drucker  portfolio_management  Gulliver_strategies  differentiation  trends  breweries  beers  craftsmanship  artisan_hobbies_&_crafts  revenge_effects  blind_spots  personal_values  market_segmentation  mass_production  decreasing_returns_to_scale  aesthetics  eco-friendly  creating_demand  food  foodies  gourmet  large_companies 
january 2015 by jerryking
Once the Foot Is In the Door, Be Sure to Leave it Open
??| WSJ | Thomas Petzinger Jr.

Even perfect products demand salesmanship--and when bargaining gets tough, be prepared to quit the talks and walk away.
automation  B2B  bargaining  Boeing  Gulliver_strategies  large_companies  manufacturers  negotiations  reservation_prices  salesmanship  software  Thomas_Petzinger  walking_away 
february 2013 by jerryking
Second Wind
September 2005 | Worth | By Jeff and Rich Sloan.

1. Choose a business (and a role within it) that reflects your personal passion and lifestyle.
2. Spend 20 hours working each week instead of 60.
3. Place the importance of your employees" personal success as your company's financial bottom line
4. Use your VIP status to open doors that most small companies can only dream of opening.
5. Drop the corporate diplomacy you perfected in years past and replace it with straight talk.
6. Hire pcople who not only share your vision but who are willing to take big risks and take your vision to new heights.
7. Set up the company so they can run it.
8. Have fun!
Gulliver_strategies  retirement  Second_Acts  serial_entrepreneur  factoring  passions  passion_investing  lifestyles  seniorpreneurs 
june 2012 by jerryking
Working Things Out With a Giant Customer - WSJ.com
OCTOBER 17, 2006 WSJ article by ANN ZIMMERMAN.

Romano Pontes, a longtime apparel supplier to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. was told by Sam Walton "'If you believe in a point, scream it as loud as you can to whomever will listen to you,'". This spring, Mr. Pontes put Sam Walton's advice to the test and risked losing Wal-Mart, his biggest and most lucrative client, in the process. He and a Wal-Mart buyer had a disagreement over a shipment of apparel that wasn't selling.....Pontes says he decided to fight for what he thought was right. He thinks small-business owners who work with big corporations frequently are afraid to stick up for themselves, fearing they will ruin the relationship. He says that not giving in doesn't have to kill a business relationship. It can even strengthen it. "You have to speak your mind, but you have to say it nicely," says Mr. Pontes, 46 years old. "I never said, 'I want to sue you.' I just made my case.".....Mr. Pontes's company, Global Vision Inc., is one of 61,000 U.S. suppliers to Wal-Mart,....The company says it doesn't know how many supplier relationships end each year and how many new vendors they bring on board.....Each supplier has a different vendor agreement with Wal-Mart...Some contracts may specify that unsold products will be returned. It depends on the type of product and supplier.

Shouldn't vendors always have agreements like that in writing? "Not always,"

Not in Contract
Although Global Vision's contract with companies doesn't spell out the policy for merchandise that doesn't sell, Mr. Pontes says he had an unspoken agreement that "we would work things out."......To straighten out the situation, Mr. Pontes says, he started with two members of the buying team, who claimed Mr. Pontes had authorized the goods to be returned. Neither side would relent, so Mr. Pontes then made his case to a senior executive in the finance department in Wal-Mart's Bentonville, Ark., headquarters. This time, Mr. Pontes said that he would produce documentation that the merchandise wasn't defective and challenged the company to prove that it was.
A conference call was set up between Mr. Pontes and a general-merchandise manager. But two hours before the scheduled call, Mr. Pontes says he canceled and sent an email instead, claiming he had stopped shipments on Wal-Mart orders to locations around the world. He added that other buyers in Puerto Rico were interested in buying Wal-Mart's 1,296-piece order of T-shirts and board shorts by Quicksilver, a trendy teen brand.

Less than two hours later, Wal-Mart emailed back, saying it would pay for the original Ocean Pacific order and wanted it shipped back to Puerto Rico....Says Mr. Pontes: "You have to have courage and guts, elevate it as high as you can. If you leave it at the buyer's level, they'll bury you. I went four levels higher than whoever is in charge of our accounting."
apparel  disputes  enterprise_clients  escalation  Gulliver_strategies  large_companies  self-respect  small_business  start_ups  supply_chains  Wal-Mart 
march 2009 by jerryking

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