You will not see us in your accounts

February 20, 2009
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The analyst firm The 451 Group asks technology companies “Who else do you see in your accounts?” Being “seen in the account” is perceived as a sign of market presence and ability to execute. And the opposite is true as well. Not being seen in accounts is sign of weakness and lack of market penetration. […]

The analyst firm The 451 Group asks technology companies “Who else do you see in your accounts?” Being “seen in the account” is perceived as a sign of market presence and ability to execute. And the opposite is true as well. Not being seen in accounts is sign of weakness and lack of market penetration. It’s also a proxy for the longevity question: “Will they even survive if they are not on anybody’s radar screen.”

My perspective is completely different. I believe that being seen in the accounts of large competitors is a sign of confusion and a complete waste of time and money. Startups are best when they disrupt existing markets, not attack them head on. Any sufficiently disruptive technology should be first deployed in a market segment that is seen as secondary or completely irrelevant by the big guys.

Established companies often compete on feature/functionality depth — delivering more features at an ever diminishing rate of value to customers to extract more money from them. Clearly not an interesting place to be for a young company.

I would like to promise here to our large competitors: You will not see Good Data in your accounts if:

  • your customers believe in a single version of truth
  • you deal with BI and data warehousing “experts” who attend TDWI seminars
  • Inmon Vs. Kimball matters to you
  • your projects are measured in months or six figure dollar numbers
  • you engage in star-versus-snowflake schema debates
  • your product offers 30 ways to format a decimal number
  • producing 1,000 different reports a day is one of your product claims

I could go on and on. Simply put – every time we read that competitor XYZ doesn’t see us in their accounts, we consider it a small victory. We don’t want to be seen in your accounts. At least not until we are ready…

Tagged: competitive, sales, startups, strategy


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