Entrepreneurs, Marketing Pros Think U Suck

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Yes, read it for yourself: https://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140616230957-42858647-why-tech-entrepreneurs-don-t-deserve-respect?trk=tod-home-art-list-large_0

According to Johnson Kee technical entrepreneurs do not deserve respect. Is he correct? The DIY LIMS purveyors of the world are typically entrepreneurial. What can they learn from Mr. Kee?

Kee Says: [Entrepreneurs Have] No Respect For The Market

Ok, well -- generally he's right here and the problem is not limited to the tech sector. If you plan to visit one of AMEX's startup conferences or try talking to people at a local SCORE (SBA) meeting you should prepare yourself for 'pie-in-the-sky' to the power of ten. Attendees share the same problems Kee listed. Most of them just want to go into business for themselves but are confused about competition, sizing the market, and developing/promoting their venture's value proposition. Almost all of these problems are easy to resolve through with education and a great deal of 'stick-to-itiveness'. Unfortunately those qualities are hard to come by. Reaching into one's retirement account or a financier's pocketbook is so much easier.

Good business counseling can be the answer but it is very difficult to come by. Successful business professionals are typically out in the marketplace making money, not counseling startups. Despite the difficulty in locating one and convincing him/her to help you it is the best recommendation. Fifteen minutes of advice from someone who has been successful in the past can save you months and thousands of dollars researching yourself. If you cannot convince someone to be your counselor then try and turn them into a mentor. Have them send you a reading list periodically and scheduling a chat/e-mail for fifteen minutes bi-weekly can help point you in the right direction. Make it clear that your goal is to catch up to their level of insight and understanding of the marketplace and that you are willing to put in all of the legwork yourself.

In Your Face

Kee Says: "There is something wrong if you're the one yelling the loudest..."

Maybe, but not in the LIMS marketplace. If you are unwilling to talk up your solution you should quit now. DIY LIMS professionals face an uphill battle when trying to promote their efforts. Commercial vendors spend time and money trying to scare companies away from DIY and open source LIMS solutions. When you meet a prospect you should already expect them to have this somewhere in their subconscious mind. In short, you are not just talking about your solution; you are partially coaxing potential clients off of a cliff. You should avoid sounding obnoxious but a lack of confidence will not serve you at all either.

Not Financially Sound

Kee Says: "The essence of good marketing is to put $1 in and get $2 out...[entrepreneurs act] only to be left scratching their heads when they can't even pay someone to look at their product...If tech entrepreneurs want more respect (and customers), they should come back down from the stratosphere..."

LIMS customers are likely to want more than your current system can provide. This is the basis of the continual debate over configurability versus customizability in LIMS. Oddly enough many DIY systems are lacking in both of these areas -- the authors did not write in expensive configuration ability and the code was not written to be easily customizable. This classifies many DIY LIMS as purpose-built solutions. In the purpose-built universe the goal is to avoid expanding the focus of your LIMS and to continue to try and improve what your core system does. Yes, that means sending prospects that are not a good fit to the competitor down the road. Only after you have become the defacto standard in a particular industry sector should you consider expanding the product. So, if your focus is wastewater testing you should avoid trying to branch into pharmaceuticals until you are dominating in your existing market.

The logical evolution for DIY is to move toward component-based toolkits, much like what MooTools and jQuery did for the verbose JavaScript code that developers wanted to move away from. However, we are not quite there yet. So a good financial strategy is to create a solution that simply and easily solves a problem and to resist adding functionality unless it answers this question, "how will the prospective change increase my share of THIS market?" Finally, keep your code open source and actively ask for contributions from your user base. This will add to your functionality without adding to your development costs.

Go Back

Citation: Entrepreneurs, Marketing Pros Think U Suck. (2014). Retrieved Sat Jun 23 10:13:59 2018, from http://www.limsexpert.com/cgi-bin/bixchange/bixchange.cgi?pom=limsexpert3;iid=readMore;go=1403025378