Building Winning Technology Companies

30 Jan ’05

Ed Sim posts on observations from a panel discussion about helping entrepreneurs to build winning technology companies.  Money quotes:

1. Release early and often – It is better to release an imperfect product, get feedback, and continue evolving than trying to release the perfect product because you may never get there and run out of cash before doing so.

2. Filling the product management/marketing role early is key.  Having a person who can shape the product and prioritize features by gathering the data in terms of what customers need near-term and what the market may need longer term is imperative.  More often than not I find early stage companies that are engineer-driven that spend too much time on features that the market may not need.  Avoid this problem early on and focus your limited resources on the right priorities.

3. Sales ramp – Do more with less and be careful of ramping up sales until you have a repeatable selling model.  In other words do not hire too many sales people and send them on a wild goose chase until you have built the right product, honed the value proposition, identified a few target markets with pain, and can easily replicate the sales process and model from some of your customer wins.

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