Lead generation competitor or partner of mine is Knowledgestorm. They just released a new product click to lead. What I love about these guys is that they call themselves a "search" platform. I'd love to see their algorithmic search program. They probably have basically a flat directory structure with a keyword match program. I'd love to get clarification from a Knowledgestorm exec.
With the sales of BitPipe to TechTarget a consolidation in the B2B lead generation space and certainly a shake up with the big media publishers.
BitPipe valuation: Word on the street is that BitPipes valuation on the Techtarget deal was 4 times sales....that puts BitPipes revenues at $11 million. Therefore it looks like Bitpipe recieved $40 million cash on $11 million sales. Not bad for BitPipe. What does this mean for others like Knowledgestorm?
Marketing and Sales are just as important for an early stage venture as having a great product team. Successful early stage companies go to market with a "good enough" relevant product and listen and assess the market...then after reading the "market telemetry" focus hard core on innovating around the customers and broader markets needs.
I've been involved in over 100 companies. None of them ever have made their operating plan on their first year of product ship. Occassionally they outperform, but they almost always underperform for some reason. The reasons are often logical and non-fatal, but the dynamic that gets created is one where the business is always "behind plan." This sucks.
I made the strong point that I actually care LESS about "making our 2005 revenue plan" then I do about learning why people are interested in what we do, why they turn into real prospects, why they become customers, and why they buy more stuff from us. I know - with certainty - that our 2005 revenue forecast is wrong - we just don't have enough data to have any precision on it. So - I want to learn the "why" in 2005 - not that "what."
We do have a sales force to comp, a team to motivate, and a plan to achieve. So - the "what" is important. However, in my experience, the way to calibrate things is to set up the operating plan so you are in a position to increase opex as you are successful vs. having to back off spending (or hiring) if you fall short of plan. I'd rather go to a board meeting mid-year where the management team says "we've hit our revenue ramp so far this year so we want to pull some head count adds forward" vs. the meeting that says "we missed our revenue ramp so we're holding off hiring folks in the plan." The nuance is subtle but the dynamic is important - as you succeed, you get to apply more resources; if you don't reach your goal, you haven't assumed more resources (e.g. we can't hit the goal because we need the resources.)
It also reinforces the focus on the "why." If we fall short of plan, we'll focus on "why." If we exceed plan, we'll rejoice, talk about "why", and add more resources. However, we won't spend a lot of time agonizing over "what we should do because we missed plan."
The first full year of product ship for a software company is a very defining year. I've seen way too many of my VC cohorts believe that the operating plan and forecast is gospel and spend all their time in year one of product ship (and usually year two of the business) focusing on the quantitative financial metrics rather than understanding how things actually work in the business. Financial planning is imprecise early in a business - a smart executive team understands this and sets the right expectations and parameters around it."
Good post Brad. Good marketers don't try to "boil over the ocean" but focus on entry and then scale ....successful firms always come out with a "good enough" product to enter the market and then their savvy sales/marketing folks are tied directly into the development team like hand and glove...so versions 3.0 and beyond tend to be stronger and ussually market dominating.
"There are a lot of people who love me in Boston and I know that right now they must be crying. I tried. I offered my heart, my soul, to stay in Boston. Things could not work out the way we wanted them to. But in reality it's no one's fault. God simply wanted this to be my destiny right now." -- Another Amazin' Speech from Pedro
ESPN Reports: In the end, respect is defined as money for Pedro Martinez. Oh, he might have felt Red Sox owner John Henry and president Larry Lucchino dissed him because they did not immediately give him what he believes he is worth. But in the end, they scraped and bowed and gave him the perks he requested, all proof he is different from the other players on the Red Sox.
I'm impressed with Garage because they respect and work with BIG ideas. They specifically look for special entrepreneurs who have big ideas who need seed capital to turn their ideas into action. They see the world for what it could be, not what it already is.
To be a successful entrepreneur first you have to dream it, imagine it, and then build it. Garage consists of entrepreneurs that work with entrepreneurs.
With the accelerated acceptance of Blogs and RSS ..etc .. online marketing in the Open Source Media era is about social marketing. I see this being the focus when the (click fraud laced) CPC market slows down. Information is the key to the future of online advertising. The publishing and broadcast aspect in particular. Search engine optimization will soon evolve to social marketing optimization. The semantics of the content and how it's distributed will determine relevancy.
Embracing Open Source Media and social marketing is key to success in the future of online advertising. Big media companies like, New York Times, USA Today, CNN, among others, have to either embrace Open Source Media or be killed by it.
An interesting preemptive move shows the hand of Movie Studios. In the United States and the United Kingdom, the Motion Picture Association of America, the main lobbying arm of U.S. film studios, filed civil lawsuits against more than 100 operators of BitTorrent "tracker" servers that point to locations where digital files of movies, music and other content can be found.
The article by Wired and SF Gate speak volumes of the establishments early attempt to kill this.
The Red Sox came to terms late last night with free agent lefthander David Wells on a two-year contract for a guaranteed $8 million, plus an additional $10 million in performance incentives that could make the total package worth $18 million.
The Sox will also pursue right hander Pavano. Pavano has strong interest in the Sox. It can sum it up in one word, `Schilling,' . One thing about baseball and life is that winners attract winners. Schilling is a winner and the Sox will esemble a team of winners. Winning is contagious.
Land Pedro and the rotation is complete (Pedro: don't be stupid make a deal with the Sox - retire a winner not a chump). Repeat in 2005! Go Sox beat them damn Yankees.