Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess
I can no longer count the amount of events I’ve been to as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and with the exception of very few (I’ve mentioned the exceptions in my previous posts), most are a colossal waste of time and money. In fact, I view them as “preying on the weak, confused and desperate” company founders who seek ways to create their companies and products and get them funded.
I spent last Friday afternoon in Woodside at the Digital Marketing Summit with Geoffrey Moore put on by SVEN – the Silicon Valley Executive Network. To those of you who don’t know Geoff Moore he created the “Crossing the Chasm” framework based on the eponymous book he wrote on the commercialization of technology products and companies. He created the intellectual basis for what we, as entrepreneurs go through in building companies, and he is bringing a new and equally important addition to this work in the 3rd Edition of Crossing the Chasm – the Four Gears Model that describes the levers of growth for technology user adoption.
Though in the book he describes this as directed toward consumer adoption, it applies strongly to the B2B software business as well. The Consumerization of the Enterprise is in full swing and startups and large companies alike need to understand how this works and how to use it to generate revenues and profits. The Four Gears structure is a central tool for accomplishing this.
I only recently joined SVEN and this was my first event as a member. It was excellent – a good mix of large companies such as Cisco and Genpact mixed in with fast growing startups like Lithium and Bizo. The discussion was led by the founder or SVEN, Brian Reynard, who led the interesting discussion deftly and expertly. The topic was one of great interest to anyone building or growing a company.
Some of the interesting themes that came up in the Q&A were how to re-engage customers who had become disenchanted with the brand, the difference between B2B and B2C marketing, the new channels and how to use them and the entire framework of the Four Gears and how to tune them. By the way, I consider the concept of the 4 Gears as both revolutionary and very practical to implement.
The best aspect of the event was to hear CMOs from small and large enterprises describe their growth strategies and problems in an open manner and the ability for personally interfacing and making connections. Without a doubt, SVEN is one of the more useful organizations fostering networks and interchange between companies in Silicon Valley.