At our Annual Forum in February, we highlighted many key trends worldwide that are affecting both Technology and Go to Market Strategy. In this post, we will unpack the major trends we discussed, and their potential impact on our Vation Nation constituents. You can see the entire keynote at the bottom of this page.
Communities Matter – In the ever-increasing pace of high tech, the communities we belong to enable our agility to continue to succeed. Communities are made up of people and organizations that share common norms and exchange of values. We join communities to connect, learn and act. Communities enable our growth, emotionally, educationally and professionally. Historically, churches, governments, trade associations and unions were formed to enable a joint communal cause. The strength and support of the community far outweighed the individual’s ability to learn and act on their own.
Wealth and Health of Nations is Changing – Hans Rossling and Gapminder.org provide us with a view of how education is changing the world by driving developing countries to rapidly close the gap, or surpass the developed countries ability to generate a quality life for their countrymen. The data shows the gap between India, China and other rapidly developing countries is closing extremely quickly. The developed countries of Western Europe, Asia Pacific and North America will soon need to leverage more of the educational depth coming from India and China to continue to accelerate the high tech virtuous cycle of engineering.
Success Requires BOTH Technology Innovation AND Go to Market – We have witnessed our VC constituents investing in many great technology solutions. Our clients typically have over one hundred current portfolio company investments. Their current model suggest half will most likely never provide a return. Of the other half, ten percent are providing significant returns and all hope for the one true Unicorn that covers the return for the entire fund. From our perspective, all of the investments had technical merit. Where do they face challenges….product market fit, and go to market. The magic of the Unicorn is the capability to catch the Blue Ocean in technology innovation, while also scaling the go to market strategy simultaneously.
Change Requires Consistency – We all know that one consistency in High Tech is the ever-increasing rate of change. Moore’s law had established an agile view of the dynamic of hardware innovation and cost many years ago. Added to this dimension is now the virtuous cycle of hardware and software development. As software rapidly extracts the intelligence from the hardware to drive even more dramatic performance increases, the cost of the development drops in a non-linear fashion. To manage this increasing rate of change, firms need to embrace consistent models for triaging the rapidly developing technologies and the culture within the firm to embrace change. What is your firm’s culture to embrace change? Are you organized to support new ideas, or crush them under the weight of the existing business? These are very important questions for your company’s ongoing success and competitive advantage.
Relationships Matter – In 2020, we will have more ways to stay “connected” virtually to one another than ever before. I can watch Snap-chat daily to see my two grandson’s latest escapades. I can use Facebook, Instagram, Hey-Tell and many more social networks to see what my extended family and friends from high school, college and church have been up to on their birthdays. I leverage Linked-in, Slack and email to stay connected with people from my professional life. These are all great, but do we have truly valuable relationships generated, and sustained, in this manner. Just like simply responding to an RFI will probably not win a deal, staying lightly connected probably won’t move the needle for you when it matters most. I have been blessed to have many, many acquaintances in my life, and many friends. How we graduate our relationships to higher grades is through time together. With time, trust is built. With trust, a truly valuable basis for a business relationship can be formed to sustain success. We see that in 2020, just like 0020, and probably 4020, doing unto others is still the best rule. Focusing our time on the communities that eliminate friction in innovation, and drive mutual success, are the key relationships for us to nurture. I suggest we all reach out to a key relationship today and put a little water in that well to show our value today, so that we can partner better in the future.
Vation is creating a community across high tech for all to benefit in driving rapid technology innovation and go to market success. We are truly better together!