Written by Daniel Tautges – @danieltautges
CEO Pinpoint Worldwide
Running and advising global businesses for most of my adult life, I have found that there are common problems that most face in reaching their growth and revenue goals. In this post lets take a look at the dreaded “our technology is great but doesn’t solve a problem“.
When technology misses market, this is clearly a case of aim..fire..ready. It happens a lot more than one might think. The great thing about technologists they are usually complete geeks about the technology. They get so lost in creating the perfect product they can loose site of the end customer. Some are able to get away with this approach, Steve Jobs comes to mind, while others get stuck with a product that they are unable to sell.
A company that I worked with, shall remain nameless, had exactly this problem. They had purchased some interesting software IP and got their initial funding round to sell their product as an add on to a Microsoft application. When ready for market, they attempted to sell the product and found, shockingly, that no one was interested. They had literally, no sales. Where did they go wrong? Millions invested, great technology, no revenue. Clearly, their technology did not solve a problem.
How do you recover from falling off a cliff? You need to climb back up the cliff. This is where I was brought in to determine what happened and how to get back on track.
The first thing you need to do is quickly determine why the product was not selling and fundamentally what problem is it solving and for what persona. Are we marketing to the right audience and are we generating ROI for their business. After my review I quickly found out that the product was a perfect fit for really no market. It was priced too expensively for the market it was trying to be sold into and did not have enough features to compete in a market that offered the greatest opportunity.
As part of the effort, I interviewed thirty prospects and met with thought leaders in the their vertical. We completed a new business plan, market requirements plan and product plan. We engaged early adopters who committed to buy the early prototypes, raised a small amount of additional capital and augmented the development team with insource/outsource resources.
The results were amazing. In 18 months we were able to secure 60 new clients, top logos, get to cash flow breakeven, with $2M per quarter run rate. Make sure your technology is great and solves a problem“.