Enterprise software sucks. David Hauser knows that firsthand, having built and sold Grasshopper for $170 million. Listen to him describe a business framework for developing enterprise solutions.
- Don’t try to compete with the hundreds of startups working on the same problems for the same industries - do something different
- How to answer the objection “you don’t understand my industry so you can’t build software for it” by turning it into a strength
- Leverage your outsider status to build better software by asking childlike questions
- You don’t need to love the industry to be passionate about your work (e.g. empowering entrepreneurs to succeed)
- Be “as close to the money as possible” when developing enterprise solutions (help add customers or keep them longer)
- Enterprise managers are typically risk-averse - understand their motivations and reduce the risk of your solution as much as possible to close the sale
- Asking for money often surfaces the real pain points - do it before building the solution
- Don’t waste time trying to convince people who aren’t early adopters
- You don’t need to be a coder in order to follow this process
- Sometimes when your customers call to complain, all they’re looking for is to be heard
- Businesses like these are great to start during recessions - there’s more talent available and companies are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase revenue
- Brainstorm a “first connection” - a corporate employee you’re connected with that can give you a baseline understanding of the problems in that industry and some credibility when calling others
- Talk with a minimum of 10 people in a particular industry and identify a theme around the main problems and opportunities in that industry
- Pre-sell your solution to ensure it’s a real pain that’s worth developing software for
- Develop an MVP yourself or hire someone else to do so
- Get feedback from early customers and iterate
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