OK, so times have been tough in the IT market over the last couple of years. Luckily, it is starting to get better. For those of you who understand that selling IT software to enterprises is not easy, I thought you would enjoy this email from one of my portfolio companies regarding differentiation and "secret sauce."
As X and I have been trekking around Sand Hill Road, and everywhere else venture funds are located, we’ve really paid attention to the issues of differentiation and “secret sauce”. As such, we’ve decided that our company needs a dramatic shift and we have found the answer. We worked on the plan at San Jose airport last night, watching the behavior of customers for this exciting new product. It was reconfirmed this morning as I left Starbucks.
Our company is going to get out of software and information technology completely. No, we are not mad, well, we may be, but that has nothing to do with this discussion. We are going to take the most plentiful resource on the planet, put it in handy plastic bottles and sell it for about $4 per bottle in airports and other convenient locations; but if you choose to buy it from your local grocery store by the case, it will only cost and $4 for a case of either 12 or 24 bottles – purely based on random decision making. This market has been validated by at least 50 other companies, who reap millions of dollars of profit from this market place each month. Our “secret sauce” will be the label – yes, it will be our company name and logo that will differentiate our product from Evian, Vasa, Fiji, San Pelegrino and those many other indistinct brands.
We look for your support at the next board meeting to make this dramatic shift in our company’s strategy!
Please scroll down for some final thoughts!
Can you imagine presenting the idea of bottled water to VC? We of course thought about it after X and I bought two frozen yogurts and 2 bottles of water for $12! Not only wouldn’t we consider drinking airport tap water, we bought bottled water with a name, Vasa, that would make one think it came from Germany – why would I buy water from Germany? I totally cracked up leaving Starbucks (there’s another one!) with my $3.60 non-refillable cup of coffee as I saw a case of water for $3.99 outside a grocery store!
Have a nice weekend everyone!