Another thing, if you asked what options are there for building relationships in the “ISV-Partner-User” bundle. Here, too, everything is quite simple. These relationships need to be looked at in terms of the benefits the customer receives and the degree of automation of the ISV’s operational marketing activities.

Let’s take a look at the possible scenarios.

1. “The partner has nothing to offer the client, except for his ardent desire to sell the ISV service.” If ISV’s operational marketing activities work well, and the partner really has nothing to offer, except for his ardent desire, this is not a working scheme at all. A partner can place product logos on his showcase as beautifully as he wants – anyway, the flow of customers will go directly to ISV.

2. “The partner has nothing to offer the client, except for his ardent desire to sell the ISV service, and the ISV does not have established processes for operational marketing and sales.” This case is a high-risk startup for a partner. In this case, to achieve success, it is necessary to clearly share functions and responsibilities with the ISV. Let’s say ISV is engaged only in the development of the service and its technical support, and sales and marketing are undertaken by the partner. Such or other division of responsibility and, as a result, costs, can end in luck. If this does not happen, the solution logo will hang on the partner’s showcase without attracting new customers.

3. “The partner has its own client base.” This is a good cooperation option for ISVs. In this case, the task is to convert the partner’s existing customer base into warm leads, which are driven through the sales department with personal managers. This can be done in different ways. By a partner or by an ISV sales team. It is important for a partner that the warming up of the client base goes on behalf of the partner. After warming up, it is necessary to start holding activities that involve leads in working with the solution. After the start of their implementation, it is necessary to focus on getting the leads involved as much as possible in working with the solution, not limited to just words – this has an extremely strong effect on conversion and, as a result, revenue.

4. “The partner makes his service based on the ISV service.” This is also a working option for ISV. The likelihood of a partner’s success is higher, the more customers benefit from his service. At the same time, you need to understand that a beautiful storefront with several sets of icons for different types of clients, without close integration of solutions among themselves, has a very dubious benefit for clients. In this option, the division of responsibilities is based on the configuration of the partner’s service.

My thoughts on building an affiliate channel and working with it.

A startup is not a search for a business model, but self-identification and a high degree of uncertainty

Would you like to analyze the Moore curve and Garnter Hype Cycle now and try to reduce the degree of uncertainty in which a startup is always forced to be? Or we’d better talk about the decline separately. The reasons for my concern are disbelief in the startup postulates of Steve Blank. Maybe this way we will be able to reduce the large number of failures in the cloud startup environment (well, not only SaaS).

Although I may be wrong and comparison is not needed – when the curves are superimposed on each other, we will get a strong match and it is better to say a few words again, how to overcome this very “valley of death” and get to the “early majority”.

In my subjective opinion, over the 15 years that I have been involved in startups, nothing has changed in terms of the process of overcoming the “valley of death”. As before, certain personal qualities are required from startup leaders. And a large number of fakes suggests that people do not have these qualities and, moreover, do not quite understand what they are dealing with. But all this is surmountable if there is the will and time: the necessary qualities can be developed in oneself and a product in demand can be built. The problem is just that there is no will and, sometimes, time. What is going on?

  1. Young people jump into a startup because of the fashion and thinking that it’s such an adult and cool life where you are your own boss. But nothing is further from reality than this delusion. If you are driven only by selfish motives, your project will inevitably fakap. If only simply because you will engage in self-deception, thinking that you know better what your potential client needs.
  2.  Young people join startups thinking they have a brilliant idea. Most likely, your idea is the result of the interference of your delusions. As soon as you correct your understanding of the world by starting to make a prototype, the interference will pass like a mirage and you will be left without an idea and, accordingly, without a super product.
  3. Young people join a startup thinking that their business will quickly make them rich. But nothing is further from reality than this delusion. In order for your business to make you rich, you need to have a steady flow of customers, the proceeds from which cover all the costs of your business and something else is left for you. As we discussed above, it takes several years of hard labor just to overcome the “valley of death”. During this time, you will probably go into debt so that your employees can get a salary and do work for you. Therefore, the idea of ​​fast and big money in a startup is utopian. You must first pay off your debts, bring your business to a sufficient flight altitude to feel relatively free.

Therefore, in conclusion, I would like to say that a startup is shown to those who are ready for years of forgetting their own stomach and hard labor in order to get to the stage of listening to customer dissatisfaction and correcting the shortcomings of their product.

If you have sufficient will and are not limited by obligations not to go anywhere for several years and not to consume anything more expensive than a loaf of sausage, then four conditions must be met for the success of your business:

1. Have a stable source of income that allows you to finance the creation of your product for a period of time until you reach the level of self-sufficiency in a few years

2. Have a lot of free time to personally deal with a startup – both a product and a business during the entire duration of the project

3. Have the freedom to change the product or business as your understanding of reality changes.

4. Do not make changes to the product or business unless absolutely necessary.

If some condition is not met, the risks of crashing in your project will be too high. In general, high sales figures are the result of properly organized processes in your SaaS business and a sufficient match between the properties of your solution and the real needs of your customers.