AnotherTrail evaluates innovation. Over a decade or more we have helped start-ups expand into Europe. We first evaluate the proposition, the messaging and pricing; share with our trusted audience and if the green light shines we initiate the sales process, gain the first customers and bring in the routes-to-market.
A true story.
One start-up has a camera, with built in Artificial Intelligence to count humans, nothing more, just pure counting.
It runs off batteries, uses wireless and simply sends a file(JSON) to the target Building Management System with the count….so no images transferred, no GDPR issues and it is cheap at around £100/unit.
You simply Velcro it above the door.
A Government organisations asks for a people counting solution.
We get rejected. Not on equipment or deployment costs, not on security, compliance.
We got rejected because it was too radical; it didn’t fit what the procurement team had been told to purchase……a clicker with associated human to stand there for hours and click.
Keep it simple
Looking back over 12 years we recognise that some technology was too early for the market, so whilst 7 years ago Velocloud SD-WAN lit up the imagination, others like Plexxi optical data centres, whilst offering huge benefits over traditional designs, was too radical for the market.
Part of our evaluation process is a simple question. ‘Who actually sells this and will they know how ?’
Yes, we have our own labs, our own proof-of-concept capability ….we get it, but scaling into large multi-lingual markets requires smart partners and receptive customers.
With IoT or Edge Compute, we open up new sectors like farming, retail and smart buildings but does the audience understand ‘The Cloud’ ‘The Edge’ APIs and AI, or does technobabble generate fear which in turn restricts innovative solutions.
Acquisition is often used by larger companies to restrict innovation but equally the lack of education of the new technology drives sales folks away and back into the arms of comfort selling.
Business first messaging
To sell innovative technology requires building trust with the prospect. It is about extracting key business drivers and articulating these in sector specific language and leaving the technology to swim undetected below the water.