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unSEXY Conf 2013: Matt Tucker, Jive

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unSEXY Conf 2013: Matt Tucker, Jive

  1. 1. Avoiding the Fail Whale: Landing Big Customers Without Letting Them Sink You
  2. 2. A Big Fish Can Drag You Down
  3. 3. About Me 3 Matt Tucker CTO & Co-Founder Jive Software Enterprise Software since 2001
  4. 4. 4
  5. 5. Orca: Gentle Giant or Killer Whale?
  6. 6. Big Early Customers are Awesome 6 • Big customers pay a lot more than small customers • Provide critical credibility to your startup • Often give incredibly helpful product and market insights • Battle-test your startup at a super accelerated pace
  7. 7. Big Early Customers are Dangerous 7 • May give you wrong signals on product/market fit • Can be extremely demanding, hammering your startup with support and customization requests • Easy to fall into the trap of becoming a services instead of product company • The “big deal” might be right around the corner… forever
  8. 8. Remember It’s a Partnership An enterprise deal should be more than just a buy/sell relationship. It’s should be a partnership with the goal of mutual success. Like any partnership, evaluate your potential customer just like they’re evaluating you. 8
  9. 9. What a Whale is Looking For • Low Cost • Exactly What They Want • Low Risk 9
  10. 10. What a Whale is Looking For • Low Cost • Exactly What They Want • Low Risk 10
  12. 12. Practical Tips • Try to convince your prospect or customer that they don’t want/need customization • Break delivery of project into phases; attempt to push custom features into later phases • Make a simple and generic versions of the custom features that all customers can use • Build extensive APIs to head off customizations before they start 12
  13. 13. Practical Tips (cont.) • If you’re creating a code repo or branch for individual customers then you’re doing it wrong • Get paid for custom work via professional services; but try keep services between 15%-35% of revenue • Frankly, beware of East Coast banks • Stating the obvious: SaaS will be easier than on-premise • Find a champion 13
  14. 14. PARTING ADVICE: Don’t fear it, go get some whales! Matt Tucker matt@jivesoftware.com @MattTucker 14