Week two of Gripped arrived and went and with it came a new customer, eight additional new business sessions, a raft of leads and referrals from former colleagues and friends. It’s been an education.
Firstly, I’m incredibly excited about the new customers who have chosen to partner with us. They all come with a different focus and set of objectives. Some of which we’ve experienced before and know the routes to success. Some which come with a unique set, and are committed to taking an approach where we will collectively learn quickly, fail fast and get them moving in the right direction.
Speaking to many prospects this week, some not in the SaaS and tech world that both Ben and I are very familiar, but the conversations have been fascinating. Firstly, all of these businesses are changing due to the influence of technology, non-traditional competitors in their space and customer expecting more than ever before. This got me thinking about a book I’m reading at the moment. Professor Scott Galloway’s, The Four. It’s a study of Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, or looking at it another way the race to world’s first Trillion Dollar business.
As a side note, over the summer I was in New York where I was lucky enough meet and talk with Professor Galloway, the founder of L2 inc, YouTube phenomenon and Professor Marketing at NYU Stern. I’m a huge fan and love his work and he was extremely generous with his time when we met. In ‘The Four’, his great prose demonstrates the way in which all four firms are experiencing hyper growth, and they are increasingly entering markets that are new territory for tech businesses. Every market they touch sees the current dominating players stock price plummet with even the slights of references in a press release or CEO interviews.
When you look at this trend the big four of Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are probably not playing by the same rules. They have unprecedented access to capital and have shareholders who hold them to a different standard, to those of their more traditional competitors. At this point, Apple has the cash reserves that almost match the GDP of Denmark. Amazon has avoided turning their revenue growth into profitability instead, driving expansion into new investments and markets with, their shareholders sit happily in the knowledge of future world domination.
All this growth sits backlit by the broader economic trends in the western world of virtually zero growth. This landscape has had me thinking where do businesses who don’t have access to the capital of the big tech giants find growth and what are the things they must do to ensure that they can displace competitors. In an economy where there is less than 1% growth we’re not competing to capture new opportunity, we’re all trying to eat someone else’s lunch.
You might rightly ask what has that got to do with anything; I think it gives a clear view of the landscape. If you are trying to ‘steal someones else’s lunch‘ then you have to take every opportunity to differentiate, every opportunity to add value. That needs to start from the moment a buyer is thinking about a problem they have. Ask yourself this, how are you helping a prospect? Is your marketing there to grab attention or help them define and resolve their problem? Are your salespeople there to give advise and guide or are they there to merely raise contracts and close deals? If it’s the latter rather than the former, it might be the reason why stealing someone else’s lunch is becoming harder and more expensive.
I’d love to hear your thoughts; please leave comments below.