The start: projects
Most IT technology driven companies start by hacking and developing code for projects in a specific sector of the industry. Slowly over time their library of useful applications grows of which they take advantage during future projects by re-using the code.
The change to products
At a moment in the life of the start-up, the concept of a product will emerge as they have been delivering several similar projects successfully. Thus from a bundle of source code libraries a full blown product will be born. In most cases they will have several versions of options for the product as they have been developing different add on libraries for different requirements from customers.
Unfortunately in many cases they haven’t got one product but to or three as they all have gone through the same life-cycle of projects.
Go to market
Instead of looking for projects they now need to market the product or products requiring marketing which is a different ball-game than getting projects and developing to the needs and requirements of the current customer.
Features and functions vs Benefits
Once the products are sales-ready they need to be positioned, their features and benefits defined and copy-written for leaflets, the website and press releases.
The problem that arises is that the creators of the software are mainly into the functions, features and technological achievements of their products, whereas the potential customers want to know about the benefits and the Return On Investment. Quite a different pitch.
This is where an experienced marketing manager needs to help out else the product sheets and information will be just too technical and engineering minded. The marketing manager should be able to look beyond the technological achievements and define what exactly are the benefits of the solutions provided. Solutions instead of products as solutions provide an solution for a problem the potential customer have. Customers are not looking for products.
What’s your experience with technology driven start-ups