Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Perils of Simple

When you have to sell solutions to external clients via an internal channel there is enormous pressure to commodify - that at least is what the internal people will tell you is the problem they face getting you into the market. "If only it was really simple.."

What they mean is that as they will only be re-selling your solution (invariably without using it themselves) they just can't be bothered to invest the time to understand it enough to sell anything other than a vanilla product.

Yet all the effort that goes into simplification is then unravelled as soon as you get in front of a client for whom your solution encapsulates a potential for some serious utility. It's not unreasonable for them to expect something that fits pretty snugly with their requirements.

Woe to you if you persist with trying to shove that big square peg through that tiny round hole.
This usually results in a lose-lose situation for everyone, as retro-customising the vanilla product generally wastes everyone's time and leads to an unprofitable engagement via all sorts of expectation gaps.

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