Note: As a former IBM Architect who loves startups, my sweet spot of the moment is enterprise IT startups (like the one I work for presently). I don’t talk about them as often on this blog as I’d for two reasons. First, they’re not that sexy because 95% of the world (those not making their living in IT) will never ever use them. Second, there just aren’t that many of them, enterprise IT is a big boys game. The game is changing though, it has to. The world of IT is changing too fast for the big boys to keep up with the levels of innovation that the new enterprise will demand, startups will have to play in the space. So, to fill this need I’m going to devote one day a week (Mondays) to Enterprise IT Startups. I will try to keep the conversation at a level that technical readers can enjoy, whether or not they work in Enterprise IT.
I have used several posts in this enterprise IT thread to focus on SaaS and, in particular, the ability for a startup to avoid wining and dining the CIO by convincing 50 of his employees to start using a product on their own. This “grass-roots” way of spreading your product has worked well for a number of companies including salesforce.com and Yammer. It’s certainly not the only way to attack the enterprise IT space without a giant marketing budget though. I thought I’d list a few others that have come up in companies I’ve looked at recently:
I’m sure I’ve missed a few, but the bottom line is to THINK about how you’re going to approach the market. An Enterprise IT Startup can’t simply build a better mousetrap because Enterprise IT shops are very reluctant to switch vendors. You must have a specific strategy for getting your foot in the door.