Why do so many early-stage technology companies struggle? One reason is that they fall in love with their technology. Many entrepreneurs are great engineers or scientists. They create all sorts of inventions and smart new technologies. They write algorithms, file patents and then they march out to search for markets, calling ”Is there anyone out there who could use my new technology?”
Pushing technology is like pushing on a rope.
When I graduated from University I had two buddies. The first one loved IT technology. He always had the latest PC/phone/PDA/gadgets. He chose a career in the IT industry and was constantly searching for that next razor-edge, earth-shaking, game-changing technology wave. The second buddy chose to sell coffee machines. We smirked at this. He said that in most large office buildings (at that time – early 1990s) they drank really bad coffee. He was right and he decided to change this. He focused on the problems of a specific market. He licensed and sold whatever technology was best. He made a fortune selling these coffee machines. We others are still searching for new technology, much like Don Quixote out looking for dragons to fight.
I do corporate turnarounds for early-stage companies that are struggling. I have lots of tricks, but the one that works most often is to get them to let go of the technology obsession and to tune their ears and eyes on the needs of a unique market.
It is really simple and easy.
Don’t fall in love with your technology. Fall in love with your market. Your market will last for many years. Technologies just come and go.
Want to turn-around your business and achieve results in record time? Contact me to discuss Executive Coaching, Group Facilitation and Management for Hire services for technology companies. You can learn more at www.ricksalmon.com , www.xelerator.com and at www.e-unlimited.com.
Rick Salmon is an energetic entrepreneur who lives in Norway and believes that European startup companies can succeed and grow quickly if only they get the proper help and assistance. Please join the discussion and leave your comments. Subscribe to this newsletter/blog to receive frequent updates and tips.
One Reply to “Fall in Love with your Market, not with your Technology”
Very well said. I have fallen in love with my wife. It happened almost 50 years ago, and still functions. I also have founded a company based upon a technology, one that has been ringing in the back of my head for more than 50 years as a challenge. When the redemptive (forløsende) idea struck, a company was formed and a prototype developed. It worked.
The technology has been streamlined for a specific purpose, knowledge based cognitive (thinking) pilot for unmanned aircraft. The side effect of the technology is a much less expensive certification process for the development and maintenance of avionics (aerospace instrumentation) systems.
Since most of us have an aviation background as well, it seems like a good match. We love our technology, and know our market, but need to work more with how we present it to our potential customer, One important one buys the message already, however.
Our goal is to make the market love us. How about that?
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